United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) on 16 December 2015 released a report titled Global Estimates on Migrant Workers. The report is a statistical study that estimates the proportion of labour migrant workers among the total number of migrants worldwide.
It outlines the regions and industries where international migrant workers are established and includes a specific focus on migrants in domestic work with updated numbers.
General Highlights of the Study
• The term “migrant worker” refers to all international migrants who are currently employed or are unemployed and seeking employment in their present country of residence.
• Migrant workers population account for 150.3 million of the world’s approximately 232 million international migrants.
• Among migrant workers, 83.7 million are men and 66.6 million are women, corresponding to 55.7 per cent and 44.3 per cent of the total respectively.
• Migrants constitute 3.9 percent of the total global population (aged 15 years and over), however, migrant workers constitute a higher proportion (4.4 percent) of all workers.
• At 72.2 percent migrants have a higher labour force participation rate compared to non-migrants at 63.9 percent.
• The difference in the higher labour force participation rate between migrant and non-migrants workers arises due to the fact that more migrant women than non-migrant women work (67.0 percent versus 50.8 percent).
• There is practically no difference between migrant and non-migrant men in respect of their labour force participation rate (78.0 percent versus 77.2 percent).
Labour Migration Region Wise
• Almost half (48.5 percent) of migrant workers are concentrated in two broad sub-regions, Northern America and Northern, Southern and Western Europe.
• These two regions host for about 52.9 percent of all female migrant workers and 45.1 percent of all male migrant workers.
• The Arab States have the highest proportion of migrant workers as a share of all workers, with 36.5 percent. However, the proportion of male migrant workers is at 17.9 percent and that of female is at only 4.0 percent.
• These sub-regions are followed by Eastern Europe (9.2 percent) and South Eastern Asia and the Pacific (7.8 percent)
• In a number of subregions, the proportion of migrant workers is below 2 per cent. The lowest share, at 0.6 percent, is in Eastern Asia (which includes China), followed by Northern Africa, Southern Asia (which includes India), and Latin America and the Caribbean, all within the range of 1.0–1.5 percent.
Economic Classification of Migrant Workers
• Vast majority of migrant workers are in high-income countries. Of the global total of 150.3 million migrant workers, an estimated 112.3 million (74.7 percent) were in countries classified as high income.
• 17.5 million (11.7 percent) were in upper-middle income countries and 16.9 million (11.3 percent) in lower-middle income countries.
• The lowest number of migrant workers was in low-income countries, standing at 3.5 million (2.4 percent).
• The bulk of migrant workers in the world in 2013 were engaged in services, 106.8 million out of a total of 150.3 million, amounting to 71.1 percent.
• Industry, including manufacturing and construction, accounted for 26.7 million (17.8 percent) and agriculture for 16.7 million (11.1 percent).
Domestic work and Migrant Workers
• Domestic work attracts more than 11 million migrant workers. There are 67.1 million domestic workers in the world, of which 11.5 million are international migrants.
• With 17.2 percent of all domestic workers and 7.7 percent of all migrant workers worldwide being an international migrant, every sixth domestic worker in the world was an international migrant in 2013.
• About 73.4 percent (or around 8.5 million) of all migrant domestic workers are women with South-Eastern Asia and the Pacific hosting the largest share at with 24.0 percent.
• Male migrant workers are much less likely to be domestic workers, with noteworthy regional differences.
• Half of the world’s male migrant domestic workers are in the Arab States
• A very large proportion of migrant domestic workers are concentrated in high-income countries
About the Report
According to ILO, the date used to calculate estimates in the report refer to migrant workers in the country of destination and measure the migrant numbers in 2013, and a total data of 176 countries and territories representing 99.8 percent of the world working age population (15 years old and over) have been included in the study.
The report comes as ILO marks the 40th anniversary of Convention 143, the Convention concerning Migrations in Abusive Conditions and the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity and Treatment of Migrant Workers adopted by the International Labour Conference of 1975.
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When: 16 December 2015
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