International labour migration: essence, forms, factors

With the increasing internationalization of public life, international migration of the population in general and of labour resources in particular occupies an increasingly important place in the development of society. An international labour market (MRRF) has been formed, which is characterized by a constant increase in the supply and demand of foreign labour. The basis for the formation of the MRRS was the processes of international labor migration.

Interstate migration of the population is a complex socio-demographic phenomenon that is closely related to the entire complex of global economic, political, demographic and social processes .

Labour migration is the movement of human resources across the borders of certain territories in connection with the change of permanent residence or with the return to it. To distinguish the flows of migrants leaving a given country, the term “emigration” is used, for flows to the country – “immigration”.

The regularities of modern international migration of the population are a significant and constant increase in its scale, involvement in the global migration turnover of the population of almost all countries of the world, a rapid increase in labor migration and an increase in the proportion of highly qualified migrants in it.

Let us highlight the main types of interstate migration:

ethnic migration, which consists of two streams – consolidating, i.e. the return of persons to their historical homeland, and dispersed, i.e. the creation of territorial areas for the placement of the diaspora of this nationality beyond the borders of the historical homeland; labor migration of various types; resettlement, which includes various types of forced migrants (refugee flows, including as a result of military conflicts, as well as for political and religious reasons); pendulum labor migration in the border areas of various countries; interstate trade migration, i.e. the so-called “shuttle”, business migration.

According to rough estimates, the number of migrants in the mid-90s of the twentieth century. was 125 million people, annually about 20 million people move from country to country. Only from the Republic of Belarus in the period 1992-1997 about 33.5 thousand people emigrated to Israel, during the same period Belarus received 347 thousand people, and 162 thousand people. (46.6%) of them are Belarusians who decided to return to their historical homeland.

History shows that initially resettlement migration of the population prevailed, i.e. such migration, as a result of which a significant part of the population of the United States, Canada, Australia and some other countries was formed. It assumed the movement of migrants across the borders of states and the change of residence forever.

In the functioning of the modern world economy, an increasingly important role is played not by resettlement, but by labor migration, which is represented by people of working age, who leave the host country usually in search of higher earnings. This category of migrants does not lose ties with the fatherland and, after the expiration of the contract, as a rule, returns to their homeland. Resettlement migration, which prevailed in the recent past, is receding into the background.

The directions of international migration flows are changing with changes in economic conditions in individual countries, regions, and in the world economy as a whole. It is possible to distinguish the main directions of modern international labor migration:

from developing to developed countries; between developed countries. among developing countries. from post-socialist countries to developed countries. migration of researchers and skilled professionals from developed to developing countries. cross-border movement of labour. This is an interesting and important, from an economic point of view, form of international economic relations, which forms the international labor market and strengthens the integrity of the world economy.

International labour migration is a natural phenomenon. This process is mainly determined by economic factors. These include:

differences in the level of economic development of individual countries. unequal level of wages. the existence of chronic, relatively high unemployment in developing countries.

The traditional “reserve” of international migration is the classic “agrarian overpopulation” in developing countries. This is manifested, for example, in the migration of Mexican peasants to the United States, Turkish workers to Germany. The migration of highly qualified specialists from developing countries (“brain drain”) is also involved. So, in the early 90s of the twentieth century. the proportion of foreigners among US engineers exceeded 10%, doctors – 20%.

The processes of labor migration can also be associated with factors of a non-economic nature: humanitarian, cultural, environmental, psychological, legal, family. In addition, there are political and religious reasons for forcing people to leave their countries. Thus, in recent years, almost 2 million people have changed their place of residence in connection with the wars in the Caucasus and Tajikistan.

International capital flows and the functioning of international corporations are also critical factors in international labour migration. TNCs facilitate the integration of labour with capital by either moving labour to capital or moving capital to labour-surplus countries. For example, large companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, IBM hired new specialists from India a decade ago, and now they have moved the main capacity of the software  industry directly to India, which currently employs 120,000 Indian workers.

In modern conditions, the following trends are characteristic of labor migration:

the international labour market encompasses multidirectional flows of labour across national borders, gradually involving more continents; the development of the international labor market leads to the fact that those countries that have not yet reached a high level of economic and technical development are increasingly closely intertwined in world economic relations, therefore, the export of labor for them acts as a kind of tool for participation in international economic relations; the labor force of donor countries is mastering modern technologies and advanced labor methods, which helps to smooth out differences in the qualification level of the population of more developed and less developed countries.