Labor Mobility #27

A powerful tool for alleviating poverty.

Expanding Opportunity with a Globally Mobile Workforce

Rebekah Smith and Farah Hani | Center for Global Development | June 26, 2020

Between 2050 and 2080, OECD countries will need at least 400 million new workers to maintain current pension and health schemes, resulting from a shrinking working-age population and a growing elderly population. Meanwhile, working-age populations in developing countries are growing faster than job creation, meaning large numbers will need to find jobs elsewhere. This situation should be viewed as an opportunity: estimates project that there will be close to 1.4 billion new working-age people in developing countries by 2050, of whom around 40 percent are unlikely to find meaningful employment in their home countries. 

As China Lifts Internal Migration Rules, Growth Will Follow

Adam Minter | Bloomberg | July 1, 2020

Chinese governments have imposed restrictions on the movement of citizens for centuries. But the modern notion of a hukou can be traced to the Soviet Union's issuance of internal passports to achieve centrally planned allocations of ethnicities and labor. That kind of control appealed to Mao Zedong and his apparatchiks, and in 1951 they enacted China's first modern hukou law, which permanently fixed an individual and his or her heirs to a given location and imposed strict controls on migration from it. China's recovery from this crisis won't simply require spending more money — in many ways, it'll mean letting go.

The Invisibles: Italy's Migrant Workers

Diana Ferrero and Carola Mamberto | Qatar Foundation | June 26, 2020

With 250,000 seasonal workers desperately needed for agricultural work in the middle of a pandemic, Italians granted temporary amnesty to thousands of migrants. Aboubakar Soumahoro, an Ivorian living in Italy, is fighting for their rights. This Qatar-funded documentary shares footage of workers without access to food, healthcare, or sanitation at the peak of the pandemic. At the same time, Amnesty International reports that workers employed on a construction project for a FIFA World Cup Stadium in Qatar have not been paid for seven months.

Over 1m Migrants Flee the Middle East, Hitting Asian Economies

Hidemitsu Kibe | Nikkei Asian Review | July 1, 2020

With the pandemic and weak oil prices devastating the labor market, petroleum-producing Middle Eastern nations have favored protecting the jobs of citizens. Migrant workers, who in some cases make up half of these countries' labor forces, have been left adrift.

The Danger of America's Coronavirus Immigration Bans

Ilya Somin | The Atlantic | June 28, 2020

The Trump administration claims that it is preventing the spread of the coronavirus and protecting American workers from wage competition. But neither rationale can justify such sweeping restrictions.

On July 1, the Polish border guard wrote that Ukrainians on an airplane were allowed to enter Poland without quarantine.

The Polish embassy in Kyiv quickly followed suit with a now-deleted post claiming the same with a link to the border guard.

A call to the border guard confirmed the change.

The next day, Ukraine disappeared from the list of countries whose airline passengers are exempt from a mandatory quarantine and then later reappeared on the list after several hours.

By the evening, the Polish ambassador to Ukraine appeared on television in Kyiv, revealing a reduction of the quarantine to 8 days and offering a free PCR test for all workers entering Poland.

Friday morning, a fresh update removed Ukraine from the list again.