Box 13: Labour Market Entrants to Exits
As the population age structure changes from young to old, so too does the ratio of people at the prime labour market entrant ages (e.g. 15-24 years) to those at or approaching retriement age (e.g. 55-64 years).
The accompanying graph shows how in Tasmania these two demographic groups are presently crossing over, with the number of 'exits' about to exceed the number of 'entrants'. This unprecedented structural shift occurs irrespective of the ABS projection series used, for example, numbers of entrants to exits crossover by 2010 under the Series A assumptions.
As the following graph illustrates, the ratio is expected to remain negative for the foreseeable future. The shift will have both positive and negative implications - positive for unemployment, which must almost certainly decline, but negative for labour market costs, as employers are forced to compete for employees. The shift will also cause problems for the University of Tasmania's growth agenda, because would-be students will be increasingly competed for by industry, not only here in Tasmania but elsewhere in the country and the developed world generally, as entry/exit ratios everywhere decline. The entry/exit ratio is already negative in 24 of Tasmania's 29 local government areas, and in 56 per cent of Australia's 666 local government areas (Jackson in press 'Local Nation').