International migration / Labour migration decreased in 2010 finds OECD

‌‌International Migration Outlook, OECD flagship publication on migration provides an analysis of recent developments in migration movements and policies in OECD countries and two analytical chapters, covering the role of migration in renewing the skills of ageing workforces and the role of Asia in international migration.

Key Points

 'International Migration Outlook 2012' - www_oecdepublishing_org_multilingual-summaries_migr_outlook-2012-sum_html_migr_outlook-2012-sum-en_html

Migration flows to the OECD

Overall permanent migration inflows into 23 OECD countries plus the Russian Federation declined in 2010, for the third year in a row. However, the decline was modest overall (-3% compared with 2009) and the number of migrants – over 4.1 million – was higher than in any year prior to 2005 for which standardised statistics are available.

Free movement and labour migration falling…

In 2010, free movement migration, strongly on the decline since 2007, accounted for 20% of all permanent migration flows. Because of the drop in employer demand, labour migration also decreased and represented only 21% of the total. Overall, family migration was the main category of entry in 2010, accounting for 36% of the flows (45% if accompanying family of workers are included). Humanitarian migration accounted for only 6% of migration in the EU and 13% in the United States.

… but temporary labour migration remains significant

Temporary worker migration tends to react quickly and strongly to changes in economic conditions. In fact, it experienced a sharp drop in 2008 and 2009 but only a modest 4% decline was observed in 2010. The size of temporary worker migration flows now stands at about 1.9 million, significantly more than the 1.4 million estimated for permanent migration for employment.

China accounts for almost 10% of migrant flows

In 2010, China was again the main country of origin of migration flows to the OECD, nearly one in ten migrants being a Chinese citizen. Romania, India and Poland follow – each contributing about 5% of the total.

Migrants hit hardest by crisis job losses

The economic downturn hit immigrants hard, and almost immediately, in most OECD countries. The evidence suggests that overall the impact of the economic crisis on unemployment has been more pronounced for migrants than for the native-born. Overall, in the OECD, the foreign-born unemployment rate increased by four percentage points between 2008 and 2011, compared with 2.5 points for the native-born. Even more worrysome is the increase in long-term unemployment among immigrants. In most countries, migrants are responsible for between 14% and 30% of the increase in total long-term unemployment, a figure which is, in most cases, well above their share in total employment.

The crisis affected different migrant groups in different ways. In most countries, migrant women have been less affected than foreign-born men – in several countries an increasing number of migrant women have taken jobs to compensate for income losses suffered by migrant men. In terms of skill levels, low-skilled foreign-born workers have been hit harder than the medium- and high-skilled. This is not only related to differences in employement distribution by sector, but also to the type of jobs they occupy (often temporary) and their lower seniority, which imply a lower firing cost to employers.

Young migrants particularly vulnerable …

The increase between 2008 and 2011 in the share of young people not in education, employment, or training (NEET), an indicator which captures the “joblessness” of young people, has been especially marked among migrants. This is true most notably in Greece, Spain, Sweden, Ireland and Italy. In addition, in the majority of countries, the incidence of temporary employment has increased more for young foreign-born workers than for their native-born counterparts or foreign-born adults (aged 25-54). Similarly, in a number of countries, the share of part-time employment in total employment has increased more for migrant youth than for native-born young people.

… requiring adequate and immediate policy response

Both during the crisis and in the recovery, adopting specific policies to help young people to find and keep a job is even more important for low-skilled foreign-born youth who suffer a combination of disadvantages (low skill levels, weak language skills, limited access to networks), who are at a higher risk of future unemployment and who are more likely to experience reduced total lifetime earnings (the so-called “scarring” effect).

Governments review migration policies…

Several countries shifted towards more restrictive immigration policies in 2010-2011 in response to changing in economic conditions and to increasing public sensitivity on migration issues. New governments tightened controls over the immigration process and restricted the possibilities of long-term immigration for migrants with poor employment prospects. More generally, many governments reviewed their skills shortage lists and temporary work programmes and subjected employers to more scrutiny. Points systems for admission have become more demand-driven, with supply-driven channels restrictive.

… including integration policies

Integration continues to be a top priority for immigration policy of OECD countries. Countries have adopted a wide range of integration-related initiatives, – ranging from establishing comprehensive national strategies to fine-tuning and refining existing action plans and integration programs. The focus also oscillates between established and newly-arrived migrants. A common trend among these policies is to prioritize labour market integration and reinforce the educational aspects of integration, including language training.

Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from

 'International migration policies and data - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development' - www_oecd_org_migration_internationalmigrationpoliciesanddata_monitoringmigration_ht

via International migration policies and data – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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