Growth is likely related to high youth unemployment rates in many developing countries
A new report by the ILO (International Labor Organization) estimates that between 2017 and 2019, the number of international migrants increased 164 to 169 million. According to the survey “Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers by the ILO”, the increase was 3%.
According to the report, in 2019, international labor migration represented almost 5% of the global workforce. Despite this weight, migrant workers often do not have a steady job, operate in the informal economy and lack any protection with a greater risk of dismissal, insecurity and worsening working conditions.
The Covid-19 crisis made this situation worse, especially for women, who are more represented in low-paid, low-skilled jobs and lack of access to social protection.
In a statement, the director of the ILO's Department of Working Conditions and Equality, Manuela Tomei, said that "the pandemic has exposed the precariousness of the situation."
Often the first to be fired have difficulties in accessing health care and are often excluded national policy responses in response to Covid-19.”
gender and age
Worldwide, 70 million women are in this situation, and the majority are men: 99 million. Women face more socioeconomic obstacles and tend to migrate as family companions. They may be victims of gender discrimination and do not have support networks, which makes it difficult to reconcile work and family life in a foreign country.
The percentage of young migrants, aged between 15 and 24, has also increased by almost 2%, reaching 6.8 million in 2019. This number represents almost 10% of the total. According to the ILO, the growth is probably related to the high rates of youth unemployment in many developing countries.
The report shows that the vast majority of migrant workers, 86.5%, are of working age, between 25 and 64 years old. About 66.2% work in the service sector, 26.7% in industry and 7.1% in agriculture.
There are, however, differences between women and men in the distribution by sectors, with more women in the service sector, including health and domestic work, and men more present in the industry.
According to the director of the ILO's Statistics Department, Rafael Diez de Medina, “labour migration policies will only be effective if they are based on solid statistical data”, such as those in this report. According to him, “these policies can subsequently help countries to respond to changes in the supply and demand for labor, stimulate innovation and sustainable development, as well as the transfer and updating of skills”.