ANZ seasonal labour programs are not too reliant on return workers: part two

By Stephen Howes

In my first post on this subject, I assessed the reliance of Australian and New Zealand seasonal work schemes on return workers by examining average visits per workers. This is a simple and useful indicator, but also an unreliable one. It tends to increase as schemes age, and fall as schemes expand. Yet neither of these factors mean that a scheme is becoming more or less reliant on return workers. To control for these confounding factors, I create an index of reliance on return workers. I set the index equal to zero if the average of visitors to workers is one, that is, if there is no reliance on return workers. And I set the index equal to one if the average of visitors to workers indicates that new workers are brought in only when the scheme expands, that is, if there is maximum reliance on return workers. I use a linear transformation of the actual average of visits to workers to create this zero-to-one index.

The results are shown in the graph below. Let’s start with the combined results for both the SWP and the RSE. The index of reliance on return workers is in fact much closer to zero than to one, that is, much closer to no reliance than full reliance. It is around 0.3. It has been very stable and in fact has slightly fallen since the early years of the two schemes.

Index of reliance on return workers for the RSE and SWP combined (0=no reliance and 1=maximum reliance)

We can also compare the results for Australia and New Zealand. Surprisingly, the index is higher in Australia than New Zealand, even though the ratio of returning-to-new workers is higher in the latter. This is because in NZ the maximum potential ratio of visits to workers …read more

From:: Development Policy Centre – DEVPOLICY Blog

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