Social challenges

Migrant employment

16/12/2021 PNG

The economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic ended 10 years of progress in the labour market outcomes of immigrants: while on average more than two-thirds of immigrants in OECD countries were employed in 2020, this is down 2.1 percentage points compared to 2019.

However, migrant employment rates recovered between Q2 and Q4 in 2020, with Colombia showing the most significant increase, from 49.0% in 2020 Q2 to 66.3% in Q4. The US (61.1% to 68.3%) and Canada (62.7% to 71.3%) also saw significant jumps in migrant employment rates in this period. The UK, conversely, saw a slight decline, from 75.5% to 74.8%.

Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended migration flows. In particular, temporary labour migration declined significantly in all OECD countries in 2020, most notably in Australia (-37%), Canada (-43%), Japan (-66%), Korea (-57%), and the United States (-37%).

See also: OECD International Migration Outlook 2021