Labour shortages fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic will place additional strain on businesses to retain workers.
A new Deloitte report has warned the cut-off of migrant workers to Australia is causing major labour supply issues in some sectors, which will place added pressure on firms to retain workers at current wage levels.
The warnings from the global auditing group echo similar comments made by the Reserve Bank of Australia that industries with labour constraints would need to fight for workers with higher wages.
Deloitte's report notes investments to retain talent and implementing new technologies will be imperative for firms to keep afloat while the economy adjusts to living with the virus.
Deloitte partner Stephen Smith said the recovery in business investment would be determined by government policy decisions to keep the economy open and extinguish threats of future snap lockdowns or border restrictions.
"With restrictions now easing, the pace of the business investment recovery will depend on levels of certainty provided by governments," he said.
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"Ongoing state border restrictions, quarantine requirements for travellers and the threat of snap lockdowns present a challenging backdrop for new investment."
Mr Smith flagged government expenditure would shift consumer spending packages to construction investment.
The shift to publicly-funded infrastructure was despite the construction sector facing major shortages in material supplies and labour.
Australia's construction sector relies heavily on overseas workers when local supply cannot meet the demand of the industry.
During the pandemic, the sector has been stripped of supplies such as timber and steel due to international supply hold-ups.
Material supplies have also been affected domestically from soaring construction within the residential housing market, which has been spurred on by grant schemes such as HomeBuilder that incentivised the building of new dwellings.
"Put simply, a lack of workers and materials is a noxious cocktail for the construction industry," Mr Smith said.
"With a record amount of infrastructure work set to be completed - not to mention a large pipeline of residential construction activity - it will be a stretch for contractors to deliver projects on time and on budget."
Deputy RBA governor Guy Debelle during estimates hearings on Thursday, flagged the pandemic had created significant job shortages in certain sectors of the economy.
Dr Debelle said while labour shortages persisted, upward pressure would be placed on wages, as employers would have to try and bid for workers with heftier paychecks.
"There are pockets of heightened wage pressure and what we are looking for is how widespread they are," he said.
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