Free Movement of Workers and Labour Market Adjustment

Recent Experiences from OECD Countries and the European Union

image of Free Movement of Workers and Labour Market Adjustment

This publication presents recent evidence and analytical work on the impact and future perpectives of demographic trends in the workforce, taking also into account education, skills and geographical mobility. It pays particular attention to the labour mobility patterns generated by the development of free mobility in Europe and simlar developments in other parts of the world.



Main findings of the joint EC/OECD conference on growing free labour mobility areas and trends in international migration, 14-15 November 2011, Brussels

Since the 1950s, in many parts of the world, labour migration movements have been facilitated – to a lesser or greater extent – among selected groups of countries, generally characterised by close geographical proximity and historic and economic ties. Such liberalisation of international labour mobility has generally developed in the context of a broader process of regional economic integration, and has tended to be introduced in the latter phases of this process. The degree to which labour migration is facilitated varies with the level of regional integration. Only in a limited number of cases has the liberalisation of international labour mobility in the context of regional economic integration processes led to the establishment of free labour mobility areas, involving full and equal labour market access for all member countries’ nationals. The great majority of such free-movement areas are to be found among OECD countries.


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