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Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs

image of Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs

This publication gathers the papers presented at the “OECD-EU dialogue on mobility and international migration: matching economic migration with labour market needs” (Brussels, 24-25 February 2014), a conference jointly organised by the European Commission and the OECD. It provides new evidence on the role that international migration has played in Europe and in selected other OECD countries over the past decade in terms of labour force; educational attainment; and occupational changes. It analyses the availability and use of migrants’ skills based on an in-depth literature review as well as new data analyses for Europe and the United States, Canada and the OECD as a whole, taking advantage of the International Survey of Adult Skills – PIAAC. Finally, several chapters discuss the potential role of international migration in meeting current and future labour market needs in Europe, in the United States and in the European Union. This work shows that although migration can make an important contribution to labour force growth, its role in counterbalancing the effects of population ageing will depend on the capacity of countries to match labour needs to migrants’ characteristics.

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Executive summary

How can governments ensure that migration and free movement of workers contribute to meeting the labour market shortages that are expected to arise over the next 50 years? How can societies better use the skills of their migrants? What lessons can non- European OECD countries offer Europe, particularly regarding labour migration management? It was to address such questions that the European Commission and the OECD jointly carried out a three-year research project on “Matching economic migration with labour market needs”. Its findings are presented in this report.

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