“The slowdown in migration to OECD countries, caused by the global economic crisis seems to have come to an end”. On June 27 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (representing 34 Countries, mostly in Europe, Northern America and Oceania) released its “2012 International Migration Outlook” report. The lengthy survey shows that while migration flows into OECD countries, notably Europe, experienced important declines in the years 2008-2010 (-3%), figures started picking up again in 2011.
Restrictive policies. “In 2011 the surge in migration movements” in most OECD countries “was determined by the need of employment” shows the report presented by Angel Gurria , OECD Secretary General (Mexico). “The number of international students also continued to grow”. “With the recovery still fragile, and public opinion sensitive to migration issues against a backdrop of continuing high unemployment, many governments have introduced more restrictive migration policies”. “Jobless young migrants are also a particular cause for concern, requiring targeted policy action from governments” Gurria points out. The question of unemployment is a major problem that all countries are called to face in the present circumstances. Especially in Europe occupational – namely, social – situations are on the brink of explosion. In fact the issue was put on the agenda of the EU end of June summit.
China, record-breaking departures. The OECD survey presents an infinite number of remarks, figures, and charts. Inter alia, it shows that in 2010 China “was again the main country of origin of migration flows to the OECD, being a Chinese citizen. Romania, India and Poland follow – each contributing about 5% of the total”. A positive element is that the number of international students coming to Europe, Northern America and Australia has continued to grow, amounting to over 2.5 million. “Australia replaced France as the third main destination after the United States and the United Kingdom”. International students account on average for more than 6% of all students in OECD countries. Although it can’t be excluded that upon termination of their education they may want to stay in the countries of arrival, thus increasing the mean educational skills of tomorrow’s OECD workers.
Families, women, youth. The survey also shows that “the economic downturn hit immigrants hard”, and almost immediately, in most OECD countries. “The evidence suggests that overall the impact of the economic crisis on unemployment has been more pronounced for migrants than for the native-born”. The crisis affected different migrant groups in different ways. “In most countries, migrant women have been less affected than foreign-born men – in several countries an increasing number of migrant women have taken jobs to compensate for income losses suffered by migrant men”. As shown in the report, OECD experts addressed a wide range of issues, such as the dramatic increase of NEET youth (not in education, employment or training), which significantly high numbers among immigrant youth. Figures show that emigration hit also European countries, whereby the Mediterranean countries and Ireland rank first.
Rules and integration. “The OECD report gives us a comprehensive picture on the impact of economic crisis on migration. At a time of intensified global economic uncertainty, it underlines several ways how governments can better respond to labour needs through migration and integration policies”. The European Commissioner for the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor , thus commented on the findings of the “2012 International Migration Outlook” report. The same concept was reiterated by European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström , who said: “If we want to fully benefit from the potential of migration, we need to continue to work with determination on a long-term, well-managed legal migration policy and effective integration policies”. “In order for us to remain economically competitive, we need to attract workers, in particular high-skilled workers, from third countries”.