Global Labour Migration – 164 Million people are migrant workers says ILO

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 164 million people are migrant workers – a rise of 9 per cent since 2013, when they numbered 150 million.

According to the 2nd edition of the ILO’s Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers , which covers the period between 2013 and 2017, the majority of migrant workers – 96 million – are men, while 68 million are women. This represents an increase in the share of men among migrant workers, from 56 per cent to 58 per cent, and a decrease by two percentage points in women’s share, from 44 per cent to 42 per cent.

“While growing numbers of women have been migrating autonomously in search of employment in the past two decades, the discrimination they often face because of their gender and nationality reduces their employment opportunities in destination countries compared to their male peers,” said Manuela Tomei, Director of the ILO Conditions of Work and Equality Department.

Nearly 87 per cent of migrant workers are of prime working age, between 25 and 64 years old. This suggests that some countries of origin are losing the most productive segment of their workforce. This, the report says, could have a negative impact on their economic growth.

The ILO estimates that 164 million people are migrant workers

Based on figures for 2017 provided by the United Nations/ Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), which are adjusted for the number of refugees, there are 277 million international migrants, 234 million migrants of working age (15 and older) and 164 million migrant workers worldwide. For the purposes of this report, the term “international migrants” refers to persons who are foreign-born (or foreign citizens when place-of-birth information is not available), while the term “migrants of working age (15 years of age and over)” is a subset of international migrants. The term ‘“migrant worker”, on the other hand, refers to international migrant individuals of working age and older who are either employed or unemployed in their current country of residence. Overall, migrants of working age constitute 4.2 per cent of the global population aged 15 and older, while migrant workers constitute 4.7 per cent of all workers. In destination countries, the higher share of migrant workers among the global workforce than among the global population of working age is due to the higher labour force participation rate of migrants (70.0 per cent) compared to non-migrants (61.6 per cent).

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Labour migration: New ILO figures show 164 million people are migrant workers


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