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

Trends in Migration Flows and in the Immigrant Population

OECD countries are currently entering what is likely to be a significant period with respect to international migration movements. The effect of the retiring baby-boom cohorts and of declining youth cohorts is beginning to make itself felt in almost all countries. There have been significant labour migration movements over the past decade in southern Europe, Ireland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the traditional settlement countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States). Elsewhere, although long-term labour migration has tended to be more limited, there are far from negligible contributions to the labour force from family and humanitarian migrants, which together account for more than half of all permanent-type immigrants in many countries, as well as from free circulation movements in countries where such regimes exist. While there is a consensus about the desirability of higher skilled migration and, in many countries, concern about costs and risks associated with lower skilled migration, labour shortages are manifesting themselves in sectors where there are many lesser skilled occupations. The same sectors are appearing as shortage areas across many countries, in particular construction, hotels and restaurants, food processing, agriculture, household services, cleaning, personal care. Often the jobs involved are low paid and the working conditions unappealing to the domestic work force.

English Also available in: French

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