Socio-economic consequences of international labour migration

Migration flows have a significant impact on the national economies of the countries involved in these processes. In immigration countries, the use of foreign labor can mean the provision of labor in a number of industries. For example, in France, emigrants make up 25% of construction workers, in Belgium – 50% of miners. They create a significant part of GDP. They stimulate the growth of aggregate supply and demand. The host country may have savings in education costs and social pensions. Immigrants are also a kind of shock absorber in the event of an economic crisis and unemployment. To a certain extent, immigrants solve the problems of pension payments for the country in an unfavorable demographic situation (a high proportion of older people). The presence of foreign labor allows you to reduce wages, which is beneficial to entrepreneurs. Along with the positive aspects of immigration, there are also negative ones. The country may increase the level of social and national labor. tensions, crime will increase, overpopulation will be observed, state spending may increase.

Donor countries also benefit from labour outflows. Unemployment is decreasing, the level of wages and welfare is growing, state spending on social support is decreasing, and foreign exchange earnings are increasing through remittances from abroad. In some cases, they can exceed the proceeds from the export of goods, for example, in Pakistan – 5 times, in Yemen – 30 times. For the world’s major labour exporters, emigrant remittances are a very significant source of foreign exchange in the country and constitute a significant part of the country’s balance of payments, which has a special item called “workers’ remittances from abroad”. Thus, foreign exchange remittances of emigrants in Egypt, Pakistan, Portugal account for about 12-13% of GDP, and in Lebanon – 64% of GDP. In some cases, a country’s trade deficit turns into a balance of payments surplus, thanks to foreign exchange earnings from emigrants. In addition, returning to their homeland, emigrants, according to experts, bring with them savings for the same amount that they transferred to the country.

Therefore, in order to estimate the real receipts, the total amount of transfers can be doubled. Calculations show that the currency efficiency of labor exports is at least 5 times higher than the currency efficiency of commodity exports. Many countries, such as the former Yugoslavia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, etc., have created an export specialization in labor services, which is a solid source of foreign exchange earnings.

Another positive point for exporting countries is that upon the return of emigrants to their homeland, they often have sufficiently high qualifications and can be organizers of the labor process, transfer the professional skills acquired abroad to others. Returning to their homeland with certain savings, migrants form a middle class, the country receives a kind of “enriched” labor resources. It is only necessary to create favourable economic and social conditions for returnees to realize their potential. In general, not only the state budget of the country, but also the entire economy receives benefits from the export of labor. It should be noted that the income from the export of labor is quite comparable to the income from commodity trade.

A different situation arises with the migration of highly qualified workers: highly qualified workers, engineering and technical workers, scientists and specialists. Such migration is a characteristic feature of modern labor migration processes. The flow of such migrants is directed mainly to industrialized countries, which receive a significant economic effect due to the arrival of such workers. The country, without spending money on the training of such a specialist, immediately receives a return on his highly effective work. It is estimated that the profits derived from the exploitation of “other people’s minds” exceed the amount of assistance provided by this country to developing countries. In Canada, 7 times, and in the UK 3 times. According to Western estimates, made, as a rule, according to the UN methodology (deduction from the total social product of the country of direct and indirect costs for the training of departing personnel and lost profits from the activities of emigrants in this country), the potential total “net” damage from the emigration of highly qualified personnel of working age from the former USSR is estimated at 60-75 million dollars annually. Russia accounts for at least 80% of all damage. According to the calculations of CEMI RAS specialists, only in 1990 the losses of the former USSR due to the “brain drain” exceeded $ 75 billion and amounted to a much larger value than the entire inflow of capital and economic assistance from abroad.

Thus, the positive consequences of labor migration include:

Employment of vacancies related to non-prestigious or hard work, which are not claimed by citizens of the host country. For example, in the 90s, immigrant workers accounted for 19.4% of the total labor force in Switzerland, 10.2% in Austria, 7.4% in Germany, and 6.2% in France. In the absence of foreign workers, production in these industries would be much smaller. Expansion of the domestic market of the host country at the expense of the demand for goods and services imposed by foreign workers. Reduction of the tax burden on the state budget. Labor migrants not only do not require social benefits, but, paying taxes and other mandatory contributions, reduce the relative tax burden on the indigenous population. By importing skilled labour, the host country saves on education and training costs.

The balance of the ratio of gains and losses in practice is most often formed in favor of the host country, and the common public opinion about the unprofitability of accepting immigrants turns out to be false. However, labor migration often generates negative external effects that take the form of costs that cannot be estimated in money, for example, uneven immigration can create excessive population density in certain regions, which causes social tension in society, interethnic hostility. “Brain drain” leads to undesirable structural shifts in the economy, a drop in the prestige of domestic science, and the aging of scientific personnel.

The negative consequences of international labor migration, as a rule, include:

The growth of illegal migration, especially at the expense of workers whose employment contract has expired, but they do not go back to their homeland, hoping to find work again in the host country. Growing social tensions due to the growth of illegal immigration.

Since the beginning of the 90s, illegal migration of citizens has become a problem for many border regions of the Russian Far East. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 237,000 Chinese have officially registered their stay in Russia, while the number of illegal immigrants, according to various expert estimates, ranges from 400 to 700 thousand people. Today, in some areas, the Chinese are 1.5-2 times more than the Russian-speaking population. In some Russian cities, the numerical growth of the Chinese has led to the formation of full-fledged communities, capable, with the continuing trend of the outflow of the indigenous population, in the near future, to loudly declare their rights, including national autonomy. In the Republic of Belarus, the problem of mass illegal immigration from The countries of Africa, South-East Asia and the Middle East, which is practically not amenable to any control and regulation by the State, has become more acute. Illegal migrants arrive in Belarus using the channels of tourism, transit travel, visa-free entry on official and private business, and also directly violate the rules of entry. Often, illegal immigrants consider Belarus as a transit state for subsequent illegal emigration to the countries of Western Europe.

If we talk about labor immigration in our republic, it also has a tendency to grow, mainly due to builders involved in the construction of residential buildings and facilities, repair of industrial buildings. Normative and legal documents of the Republic of Belarus enshrine the principle of priority of the right of Belarusian citizens to occupy vacant places and limit the inflow of foreign labor. Enterprises, organizations and institutions must convincingly argue the advisability of attracting foreign labor and acquire a special permit for this purpose. But, despite the seemingly strict selection, in 1995 14.5 thousand foreign citizens worked in Belarus in professions and specialties that are in abundance available on the labor market.

The considered duality of the processes of labor migration does not contradict the main conclusion: the formation of the international character of the labor market is able to optimize its use in the interests of all parties involved, however, subject to the development of a sound migration policy and the implementation of international agreements.

These problems pose a number of complex tasks in the field of state migration policy. With regard to exports, it is the protection of the rights and interests of migrant workers in the countries of immigration, the organization of the optimal outflow of excess workers to temporary work abroad, the support of close contacts with them in order to prevent their assimilation abroad and compensation for losses from the departure of the national labor force outside the country. With regard to imports , the protection of the interests of the national labor force and the satisfaction of the needs of the economy of the republic in labor resources in the required volume and of appropriate quality.