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Economic Migration

Economic Migration

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Published by Arpit Bharat Gupta

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Published by: Arpit Bharat Gupta on Nov 13, 2011
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07/19/2014

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Migration from one region to another for the purpose of seeking employmentor better financial conditions is called economic migration. It is important tohighlight the word economic in order to distinguish it from the other kinds of migration which may include forced migration, migration for religiousreasons, for better natural environment.Economic migration is put specially under the lens because of the causeddemographic changes across the regions and countries. Its causes can beattributed to many factors and similarly, it influences many a policyworldwide. For example, some countries may impose migration and visarestrictions to prohibit the people from outside to enter their countries insearch of work. Such protectionist measures are put in place in order to savedomestic workforce from unemployment and low wages. The factors that cause economic migration across the globe may be listed asfollows:1.Absence of means of employment across one’s native country causemajor migration patterns throughout the world.2.Decline in traditional means of earning such as agriculture, handicraftalso causes loss of employment and hence, migration.3.Lucrative opportunities in regions other than native region.Note that causes 1-3 and 2-3 act in conjunction with each other as push fromone side and pull from the other, as such the examples of economicmigration shall have them in hyphenation.Principally, the process of economic migration can be categorized into twosets:1.External Migration2.Internal Migration
External Migration
External (economic) migration involves crossing a country’s boundaries insearch of (or a better) livelihood. Change of one’s country inducesenvironmental, cultural, social and economic changes in one’s life and intothe country of immigration. This calls for critical assessment of various forcesinfluencing economic migrations out of and into a country.
 
One important issue in recent years has been decrement in the number of domestic jobs in various developed countries. Such cases exist in variousdeveloped nations such as USA and European countries. The overallincrement in EU’s population was 85% in 2005 alone, with 78% peoplemigrating with working visas. The service sector inflation being extremelyhigh in these places, the organizations tend to hire individuals from outsideto perform the jobs. For the jobs that can be done from distant places, thetasks are outsourced while for direct jobs immigrant labor is hired. TheMexicans and the people from South-East Asia form a major fraction of thesework forces in US. Similarly, in a lot of European countries especially Britain,people from South Asia have been hired. This, apart from unemployment,causes resentment in a country’s native population. In popular immigrationdestinations like France, UK and USA unemployment caused by jobsoutsourced to immigrants is a major political issue. To tighten this process, the developed countries generally introduce changesin their visa policies. For some sectors like IT, the policies have beenspecially drafted keeping in mind the needs of the industry and provisionshave been left for expurgation. A class – H1B is for professional level jobsthat require a minimum of bachelor’s degree in a specific academic field. Inaddition the employee must have a degree or the equivalent of a degreethrough education and experience. In order to obtain an H-1B visa, theemployer must show that it will pay the higher of the prevailing local wage orthe wage it pays other U.S. citizens who have similar education andexperience. The employer is not required to prove there are no Americanworkers available to perform the work. However, some economists saw H-1Bexpansion as an assault on the American middle class that benefited thewealthy and made it impossible to maintain traditional American standardsof living, or provide incentives to improve productivity as rapidly as nationslike Japan with more restrictive immigration policies. The companies who hired workers on H-1B visas often argue that the U.S.lacks enough skilled American workers to do the specific work needed by thecompany. Many economists argue that hiring these foreign workers providesmore benefits to the U.S., and otherwise the recruiting companies wouldsimply offshore the entire operation. It was claimed this would likely proveworse for the U.S. economy as a whole, because in the first scenario foreignnational workers living in the United States would at least spend money inthe United States, while the multi-national corporations that wouldpurportedly export the jobs to overseas locations would probably not pass
 
down as much of the savings to the U.S. consumer who purchased fromthem.Additionally the policies of the government are also specific towardsparticular countries such as Mexico. Most of the workmen coming fromMexico are unskilled labor and work cheaply in the heavily burdened servicesector of America. As such a lot of jobs in the southern states are lost toimmigrants giving rise to nationalist sentiments. The forest-jobs such as treefelling, logging, transportation is filled up with Canadians from north who arewooed by the attractive higher wages then Canada.
Internal Migration
Internal migration is now recognized as an important factor in influencingsocial and economic development, especially in developing countries.According to census 2001, the total population of India is 1028 millionconsisting of 532 million males and 496 million females. India isgeographically divided into 28 states and 7 Union Territories. There is atremendous variation in the aggregate population size across the state. Itvaries from 0.54 million in Sikkim to 166.2 million in Uttar Pradesh. In 2001,309 million persons were migrants based on place of last residence, whichconstitute about 30% of the total population of the country. This figureindicates an increase of around 37 percent from census 1991 which recorded226 million migrants. (The final statistics from Census 2011 are yet to bereleased). The reasons for migration have been classified broadly as work/employment, business, education, marriage, moved at birth, movedwith family and others. Of these reasons, moved at birth, moved with familyand others constitute a negligible amount of people. Marriage as a reasonhas come only recently in prominence with inter-state, inter-culturalboundaries being let more relaxed. Some special cases like Haryana havingno brides and girls from north-east, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand being broughtover deserve a special mention. Other than these, economic migrations –work/employment, business and post educational together form a majorfraction of the migrating population. Additionally, it is observed thatemployment among males and marriage among females are the mainreasons for migration.A close look at the pattern of each state’s out-migration is as follows. 56percent of out-migrants from Uttar Pradesh have gone to Maharashtra,Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. In the case of Bihar, nearly 50 percent out-

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