You can't open a paper or turn on the TV at the moment without hearing about Australia's worker shortage, or, if you're a more emotive sub-editor, "worker drought".

In just the last few weeks, we've been told worker shortages will harm infrastructure projects, hurt construction, cause cafe price rises, cause farm produce to rot, hurt iron ore exports, harm Christmas retailing, hurt aged care, manufacturing, shearing, tourism, even advertising (that one will really hurt).

Most of these stories are usually accompanied by companies, or business lobby groups, imploring the government to reopen borders and allow temporary migrants back in as quickly as possible.