Social and welfare issues


Labor Migration in Asia

Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis and the Post-Pandemic Future

This report analyzes the labor migration trends in Asia and puts them in the context of economic and policy developments and the changes wrought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It examines the policy settings in the major origin and destination countries of labor migrants and the medium- and long-term factors that will shape the future of labor migration in Asia. It further provides important recommendations for building back better in a post-pandemic world. This analysis draws partly on discussions that took place at the “10th ADBI-OECD-ILO Roundtable on Labor Migration: Future of Labor Migration in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities in the Next Decade,” held in Bangkok, Thailand, in February 2020, an annual event co-organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the International Labour Organization that brings together regional experts and policy makers. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the publication focuses on the pandemic’s impacts on labor mobility. The report offers up-to-date comparative statistics on labor migration flows, including evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on flows and remittances. Two statistical annexes offer detailed country fact sheets and coverage of intra-Asia and cross-regional migration flows. The report also includes discussions on the future of labor migration in the aftermath of the pandemic and the role of technology and digitalization in labor mobility and its management.

Published on April 27, 2021