Deloitte Access Economics has today released new research on the impact mobile technologies are having on Australia’s productivity and workforce participation challenges, finding that there were $42.9 billion in benefits last year.The report, Mobile nation: Driving workforce participation and productivity, commissioned by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), found that Australia’s economy was $42.9 billion larger in 2015 than it would otherwise have been.
This was due to long-term productivity benefits of $34 billion and workforce participation of $8.9 billion generated by mobile technology take-up, Deloitte found, with 65,000 full-time equivalent jobs supported by the increased GDP attributable to workforce participation.
The survey showed that for a number of groups mobile is impacting workforce participation, providing the ability to work remotely and meet personal commitments while at work.
On average, survey respondents worked 0.6 more hours every week because of the benefits mobiles deliver, with 29 per cent working from home at least some of the time, while nearly 15 per cent would work fewer hours if they were not able to work remotely.
Meanwhile, mobile is also helping people find jobs, with 80 per cent of job seekers under the age of 25 using mobile devices in their job search.
“It is estimated that globally around 5 billion mobile devices are in use, and with the rise of the IoT this is anticipated to grow to 6.4 billion in 2016 and 20.8 billion by 2020,” AMTA chair Matthew Lobb commented.
“Australia must ready itself for the opportunities this will deliver. It is clear that mobile will continue shaping the way Australians communicate, work and interact. Harnessing the potential of new and existing technologies will be important for securing Australia’s economic growth and living standards in the future.”
Deloitte Access Economics partner Ric Simes noted the “transformative impact” mobile has had on productivity and labour force participation.
“Mobile allows employees to make more productive use of time, work more efficiently with productivity enhancing tools such as mobile apps, and also allows more people to work, facilitates working more paid hours, and allows people to stay engaged and connected, thereby improving participation in the workforce,” Simes commented.
“Reducing barriers to employment can open up a new set of opportunities for people in these groups, and the flexibility offered by mobile is a real enabler here.
“Just as the benefits to date have been significant and would have been unimaginable 20 years ago, there are still many areas and new mobile-enabled technologies – think driverless cars – that will further shape the way Australians communicate, work and interact, that will disrupt and revolutionise, and that will also drive future economic growth.”