“Increases in the number of temporary immigrants in response to short-term labour shortages in one industry or region can address any short-term labour market disequilibrium (box 3.3). This might lead to short-term productivity improvements, for example, in allowing projects to go ahead which otherwise would have been delayed due to the shortage of labour supply. However, in the longer term, the reliance on temporary immigration to address short-term labour supply shortages might act as a substitute for the development of long-term labour supply by dampening signals as to those areas where labour supply needs to expand.”
Source: Productivity Commission Report into the Economy and Immigration, 2006, p.38
I tend to forget this from time to time. I think the use of words “can” and “might” are appropriate and important.
Signals are something we are not very good at picking up on at the best of times. Something to keep in mind.