With June jobs data showing unemployment fell to a fresh 48-year low of 3.5% – and with 480,100 jobs sitting vacant in May – the Federal Government has stepped up to reassure business that it will prioritise the processing of permanent visa applications lodged by skilled workers based overseas. Industries reporting major vacancies include construction, hospitality, administration, and utilities. The state most affected is Western Australia, where there are 13,200 more vacancies than jobless people and the participation rate is the second highest in the country. Victoria, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory also have more vacancies than unemployed, while in NSW, the gap is just 200. As it turns out, COVID is yet again to blame for slow processing of Visas – those who were once charged with this task were diverted to other projects in the height of the pandemic, like policing the border and processing travel exemptions. But it’s not all bad news. According to Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, 623,000 temporary and permanent visa applications were processed between 1June and mid-July. And, processing times for offshore permanent visa applicants fell from 11 months in May to four months in June. To move things along even faster, and get highly skilled workers currently living overseas to the top of the visa queue, departmental resources will be diverted from processing the generally lower skilled permanent visa applications lodged by temporary visa holders already in Australia. Who knows, there may be light at the end of the tunnel! Need Help with Getting Employees into Australia? Globally, there’s a wealth of expertise, experience and perspectives just waiting to help expand your business. If you’ve identified talent outside Australia that meets your growth objectives, the Ayers Group can help you by checking their eligibility, managing their visas and on-boarding. With over 20 years in the business, and as one of few companies approved by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (Immigration Department) to hire and on hire international workers, we can manage the employment of international workers for you. If you’re not already talking to the Ayers Group about arranging visas for the talent you need, contact one of the experts on our team to find out how we can help your business.