Migration To and Within OECD Member Countries at All-time High


Migration to and within OECD member countries has increased, but the employment prospects for those on the move have worsened, a fresh study says. Better integration programs are of the essence.

In a fresh report out Thursday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said migration to the bloc of most industrialized countries rose by 2 percent in 2011 from the previous year, with recent national data suggesting a similar increase last year.

The study said migration within the 27-member European Union was up 15 percent, following a decline of almost 40 percent during the years following the outbreak of the global financial crisis on 2008.

The OECD pointed to a trend of most people leaving countries hardest hit by the eurozone debt crisis, that is nations in southern Europe. The number of Greeks and Spaniards migrating to other EU countries was reported to have doubled since 2007.

No equal treatment

The survey warned that the job market situation had worsened sharply for migrants, with unemployment rising by almost 5 percent between 2008 and 2012, compared with a 3-percent jump among the native-born.

“Governments must do everything they can to improve immigrants’ job prospects,” OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said during a presentation of the report in Brussels together with EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor.

“Continuing to help immigrants integrate will also ensure they can play their part in driving growth as the global economy recovers,” Gurria added. The study also mentioned the importance of combating discrimination. It mentioned for instance that a person with an immigrant-sounding name had to send at last twice as many applications to get a job interview than one with a non-immigrant name.

hg/rc   (AFP, KNA)