International Migration Outlook 2008

image of International Migration Outlook 2008

This edition focuses on the employment situation of immigrants. For the first time, this report presents a “scoreboard” of labour-market integration of immigrants, as well as an analysis of wage differentials between immigrants and the native-born.

The publication also examines the new laws governing immigrants’ entry, stay and access to the labour market. The selective recruitment of immigrants according to labour market needs is described, as are measures to facilitate the integration of immigrants. International cooperation to improve border control and to combat irregular migration is analysed in detail.

Two special chapters analyse topical issues. The first addresses the management of migration of lower-skilled workers and reviews the different types of existing temporary and permanent programmes. Special attention is devoted to the issue of illegal employment of  foreigners and to regularisation programmes.  The second chapter presents an in-depth study of return migration and looks at its impact on the economic development of sending countries.

A dynamic link (StatLink) is provided for each table and graph. It directs the user to a web page where the corresponding data are available in Excel® format.


English Also available in: French, Spanish


Immigration into Switzerland increased in 2006, reaching a total of 102 700 persons, 63% of whom came from an EU country. This was the highest level since the beginning of the 1990s. Germans and Portuguese remained the two largest groups, accounting respectively for 24% and 12% of new arrivals. There was a decline in immigration from Italy (5%), Serbia (5%) and Spain (1.5%), which were formerly the main sending countries of foreign workers. This increase in immigration is primarily due to the growth of labour migration, although immigration for family and humanitarian reasons also rose in 2006. According to the OECD’s standardised statistics, slightly more than 38 000 people immigrated to Switzerland for work purposes, a 20% increase over the previous year, accounting for approximately 44% of total permanent immigration in 2006.

English Also available in: French

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