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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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Occupational labour shortages

Underlying concepts and their role in US migration policy

There are many factors that can be taken into account in migration policy, such as family reunification, increasing the nation’s stock of human capital, increasing gross domestic product, and alleviating occupational labour shortages. This chapter examines the concept of occupational labour shortages and describes how occupation-based immigration policy in the United States currently is structured and proposals that have been considered to improve how occupational labour shortages are measured and used in immigration policy. The chapter first explains the economic concept of occupational labour shortages and describes the reasons why shortages might arise. Next, the chapter discusses how occupational labour shortages can be recognised. This is followed by a summary of findings from an analysis of whether there are shortages for four occupations in the United States, and the conclusions from the study. The second part of the chapter deals with occupation-based immigration in the United States. The current US system for permanent and temporary labor is described, and current and past proposals for improving the system are discussed.

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