E.g., 03/02/2021
E.g., 03/02/2021

Employment & the Economy

Employment & the Economy

As workers and consumers, immigrants play a role in the labor markets and economies of the countries in which they settle. The research collected here examines how immigrants fare in the labor market, whether they are affected differently than native-born workers during cycles of boom and bust, the role of immigration policymaking as a lever of competitiveness, immigrant employment by sector and skill, and the fiscal impacts of immigration. MPI's research also assesses the role of temporary workers and the labor recruitment process.

Recent Activity

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Passed with minimal controversy and public debate, the 2016 spending bill included some of the most substantial immigration policy changes enacted by Congress in the last decade. The changes touched on aspects including temporary worker visas, visa security, and the immigration courts, and could signal a new strategy for legislative change to the immigration system.

From earthquakes to drought, natural disasters and climate change played a key role in migration flows in 2015. Climate-induced migration surfaced as a concern at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (known as COP21) as international organizations and policymakers have begun to recognize the growing challenges, and potential protection obligations, of such movement.

A number of countries in 2015 redesigned their immigrant investor visa programs in response to questions about their economic benefits or allegations of fraud. The reforms have in some cases made such programs far more costly and encouraged investment in higher-risk assets. Applications for such visas have fallen signficantly in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as policymakers may have overestimated demand.

The emigration of health-care professionals from Malawi led to drastic labor shortages in the impoverished nation in the early 2000s. To combat this brain drain, the government launched an action plan that has largely stabilized the outflow. However, human resource challenges to Malawi's health-care system remain acute and complex, as discussed in this feature article.

Signed into law 50 years ago, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 had several unintended consequences that have had a profound effect on the flow of immigrants to the United States and contributed to the transformation of the U.S. demographic profile. This Policy Beat explores the law's lasting impact and lessons for policymaking today.

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Audio
June 13, 2011

This Migration Policy Institute event was held to discuss the release of MPI's book, Migration and the Great Recession: The Transatlantic Experience, which reviews how the financial and economic crisis of the late 2000s marked a sudden and dramatic interruption in international migration trends.

Video
April 26, 2011
The conference offered law and policy analysis and discussion on cutting-edge immigration issues. Featured panelists included high-ranking government officials, academics, advocates, and other immigration experts.
Video, Audio
January 13, 2011

In a report by MPI's Labor Markets Initiative, noted economist and Georgetown University Public Policy Institute Professor Harry J. Holzer examines the economic reasoning and research on these questions and looks at the policy options that shape the impact of less-skilled immigration on the economy. The discussion is on what policy reform would best serve native-born American workers, consumers, and employers, as well as the overall U.S. economy.

Video, Audio
September 20, 2010

This important MPI report challenges the conventional wisdom about the immigrant workforce, using a sophisticated new method of analysis that permits deeper examination of how workers – immigrant and native-born – fare by economic sector, the skill level of their jobs, and educational attainment.

Video
June 30, 2010
Testimony of Marc Rosenblum, MPI Senior Policy Analyst, before the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

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Recent Activity

Reports
September 2018

The Houston metro area, home to 1.6 million immigrants, is diverse and rapidly growing. This report sketches the area's immigrant population, examining top origin countries, key socioeconomic measures, and more. It also explores how Hurricane Harvey affected the immigrant population, and how national policy changes under the Trump administration are being felt locally, including by DACA recipients and asylum seekers.

Articles

Indonesia, which has a long history as a major origin for migrant labor in the Asia-Pacific and beyond, more recently has reluctantly found itself a transit and destination country, including for asylum seekers. Still, policymakers remain focused on protection of its nationals abroad rather than on assuring the status of Chinese and other foreigners in the country. This country profile explores Indonesia's rich migration history. 

 

Video, Audio, Webinars
September 12, 2018

As the final phase of preparations for the historic adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration approaches, this webinar explores two central objectives of the compact: enhancing the availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration, and investing in skills development.

Video
September 5, 2018

A book discussion with author and veteran journalist Alfredo Corchado, MPI President Andrew Selee, and other experts on the nature of U.S.-Mexico immigration and the role of Mexican immigrants in the United States.

Policy Briefs
September 2018

While partnerships to facilitate skilled migration have had mixed success in the past, the Global Compact for Migration is advancing a new approach that may change this. This policy brief compares this new partnership model with the traditional one, highlighting the questions policymakers will need to answer if they are to encourage mobility, sustain employer engagement, and see development benefits in countries of origin.

Policy Briefs
August 2018

EU policy debates about moving asylum seekers from overburdened frontline countries, such as Greece and Italy, to other Member States rarely consider how migrants form and act on preferences for certain destinations—and how difficult it may be to change these views. This issue brief explores decision-making among migrants in Greece, including how living conditions, jobs, and legal status factor in.

Articles

In Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, migrants make up a significant share of the private-sector workforce. While mainstream narratives commonly focus on the exploitation and abuse some of these migrant workers experience, their lives and relationships with the native born are much more complex and less unequal than is often perceived, as this article explores.

Reports
August 2018

Economists project a shortage of 5 million U.S. workers with postsecondary education and training by 2020. Yet 2 million immigrant college graduates in the United States are either unemployed or work in jobs that require no more than a high school degree. How can this skill underutilization, known as "brain waste," be remedied? MPI asked the experts, and this report summarizes their discussion and recommendations.

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