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Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Europe 2016

image of Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Europe 2016

The OECD series Recruiting Immigrant Workers comprises country studies of labour migration policies. Each volume analyses whether migration policy is being used effectively and efficiently to help meet labour needs, without adverse effects on labour markets. It focuses mainly on regulated labour migration movements over which policy has immediate and direct oversight. This particular volume looks at the efficiency of European Union instruments for managing labour migration.

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Executive summary

More than 1 million immigrants come to the European Union each year, more than to any single OECD destination country. The number of people born outside Europe living in the EU rose faster in the 2000s than in the previous decade. The European Union is facing impending skills shortages in a number of areas and Member States, but labour migration has only been a fraction of total migration, and the share of migrants with high levels of skills and qualifications is smaller than in many other OECD destinations, despite recent improvements. Individual EU Member States have developed policies to compete in the global market for skills, but more needs to be done at the EU level to ensure that labour migration yields more than just the sum of these individual efforts.

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