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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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Migrants' skills: Use, mismatch and labour market outcomes – A first exploration of the International Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the newly available Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to provide a detailed picture of migrants’ literacy and numeracy skills and how they compare with those of natives, and how they are utilised and valued in the labour market. The chapter provides a description of the Survey of Adult Skills and the differences between migrants and natives in terms of their literacy and numeracy proficiency levels. A discussion follows on the extent to which language and foreign qualifications explain part of such differences. Moreover, the chapter analyses the labour market outcomes (employment, incidence of overqualification and wages) of migrants relative to natives and discusses how these differ across migrant groups as well as the role played by literacy proficiency and other relevant factors. The analysis of wages pays special attention to the returns to schooling, literacy and numeracy proficiency as well to professional experience, distinguishing between the experience acquired abroad and that acquired in the host country. The chapter concludes by summarising the main findings and their relevance for policy and makes proposals for future work.

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