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Recession: Migration to rich nations falls

Last updated on: July 12, 2010 19:15 IST

The migration of people to developed countries fell in the wake of the global economic crisis, as many of these nations saw lower demand for labour, according to the OECD.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a grouping of mostly rich nations and currently has 31 member countries, including the US and UK.

"International migration has fallen during the economic crisis...The inflow of immigrants to OECD countries fell by about 6 per cent in 2008 to 4.4 million people, reversing five years of average annual increases of 11 per cent.

"Recent national data suggest migration numbers fell further in 2009," OECD's International Migration Outlook 2010 report said.

It noted that migrants will be needed to fill labour shortages as the economic recovery gains momentum. Immigrants were hit by the financial meltdown in 2008-09 as employment opportunities, especially for younger people, witnessed a drastic decline.

Unemployment among male immigrants, many of whom worked in crisis-hit sectors such as construction and hotels, climbed higher than among their native counterparts, the report added.

According to the OECD, the working age population in the region will increase by only 1.9 per cent over the next ten years, as compared to a rise of 8.6 per cent between 2000-10.

"Beyond the short-term impact of the crisis, immigration will continue to play a vital role for OECD economies in the long term because of the need for extra workers to maintain growth and prosperity," it noted.

OECD economies account for more than 60 per cent of the global economic output.

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