05
Oct
09

Could migrant wokers pull the world out of recession?

workersThis is a subject that comes up quite often during our editorial meetings. Two weeks ago we did a programme from Calais where a camp called ‘The Jungle’ was shut down by the French government.

Some of you reacted to the Afghan refugees on the program asking them to go home because if they do make it across the Channel to Britain, they’ll become a burden on the health and housing system. Some of you also mentioned that many have lost their jobs due to recession so there aren’t enough jobs to go around for new people, especially that the new people are illegal migrants.But even for migrants who are in a country legally this is still an issue. Earlier in the year we did a programme debating whether local jobs should be for local people. UK workers staged protests because companies hire workers from other countries in the EU instead of locals.

But a report by the United Nations Development Programme, claims that migrant workers are a great asset to help countries like the UK pull out of recession.It’s urging governments, especially those of wealthy countries with ageing populations, to change their immigration policies and offer a “new deal” to migrant workers whose skills can help with economic recovery.

Jeni Klugman, the report’s author, says:
“The recession should be seized as an opportunity to institute a new deal for migrants — one that will benefit workers at home and abroad while guarding against a protectionist backlash…”

I remember speaking to Sarah Robinson, Owner of Bean There Coffee Company in Johannesburg, she was telling me about staff in her company and how migrant workers from Zimbabwe work much harder than local workers from South Africa. “May be because they’re more desperate and know they have nowhere else to go.” I remember her telling me.

Do you view migrant workers as an asset that could help pull your country out of the economic downturn? Or do you think that as your country pulls out recession, the jobs created should go to local people? Do migrant workers offer a healthy competition that could benefit the economy of your country or are they an unnecessary burden?


16 Responses to “Could migrant wokers pull the world out of recession?”


  1. 1 Yang Jing Yan
    October 5, 2009 at 11:35

    When the going gets tough, it’s easy to lose the big-picture view and put the blame on someone like your migrant workers. After all they are not citizens and perceived as someone who are there to reap the benefits during boom times and therefore are theoretically undeserving of the benefits entitled to citizens who stick with their countries through thick and thin. I disagree as migrant workers (both white and blue collared workers) can indeed help a country become stronger in terms of economic growth, but the economic growth may take a long time to realise and the subsequent benefits will take even a longer time to materialise in the life of the man on the street — the citizens’ immediate needs cannot be satisfied due to the time lag present between a country’s economic growth and a citizen’s standard of living.

  2. 2 SENA
    October 5, 2009 at 11:49

    Migrant workers can pull the world out of recession, cos
    1. they would sacrifies their life, i.e mind ,strienght, energy and among others to improve and maintain the company’s positionin the environment.
    these maigrant would also work to cater their familes out there.with this they go all out to work hard and as hard work pays high excellence, they work hard to keep the world economy a better shape.
    2. this also sells the potentiality of person if the migrant is from africa.this exibit the energy, vibrancy that these people have but it unfortunate that these are not shown in their country . any as they say all things being equal,as he/she sell his / her self it sell the potential improvement of the world ecomony.

  3. 3 JanB
    October 5, 2009 at 12:28

    If these migrants are educated skilled workers they may in time help carry the burden of the ageing populations in Western Europe, but most of these illegal immigrants will remain unemployed or get illegal jobs for less than minimum wage.
    Europeans who advocate for letting in these unskilled workers need a reality check: yes, in time we do need foreign nurses, carpenters and doctors, but we will never need unskilled migrants who don’t even speak our language.

    It is a myth that European countries need lots of unskilled laborers to do the “dirty jobs”, as there are less and less of these dirty jobs left (they get outsourced or automatized) and believe it or not, unskilled European laborers and student workers are willing to do these jobs for minimum wage.

  4. 4 vijay pillai
    October 5, 2009 at 12:42

    One EU country dont want immigrants and illegals immigrants in that country want to go to another EU country which is struggling with not much work and lenghtening dole ques. No consistent policy by EU on immigrants in Europe?

  5. 5 scmehta
    October 5, 2009 at 14:29

    Only the legal migrant workers can be of any help; The illegal ones might either be a liability/burden, or a social/security risk, or playing ‘hide & seek’ with the relatives and countries of their origin.

  6. 6 patti in cape coral
    October 5, 2009 at 14:49

    I don’t know, just reading the comments on this and learning. I can say that most people here refuse to do the jobs that migrants do.

  7. 7 Roberto
    October 5, 2009 at 14:57

    RE “” UK workers staged protests because companies hire workers from other countries in the EU instead of locals. “”
    —————————————————————————————

    ————- They are right to protest if there aren’t enough local jobs to go around.

    These “migrant” transgressions are just a move by the globalist money minters to mix up and destroy existing cultures as they move to better control regional labour, resources, and politics to grow their power and their corporate and by default, their personal treasuries.

  8. 8 Tom K in Mpls
    October 5, 2009 at 15:50

    Illegal immigrants are a problem to both the country they invade and to the country they send remittances to. In the country they go to, they force wages down in an unnatural way and deny jobs to the citizens. Then when they send money home, they create false prosperity. They create an economy without a genuine production base. When remittances drop, all higher levels of the economy are suddenly starved, so they fail.

  9. October 5, 2009 at 15:51

    What do you mean by a healthy competion? That they will work for less than nationals or that they will inspire them? Illiterates will always be exploited,even by their own,which poses other problems for the host country. If they bring skills and a genuine desire to intergrate,yes they can help considerably. If they come with nothing but an open hand they will make the situation worse.

  10. 10 T
    October 5, 2009 at 16:06

    Why is this surprising? Unchecked global predatory greed means that more people will do whatever they have to to survive.

    How many people that deport all illegals would be willing to do the work they do for almost nothing?

  11. 11 Dave in Florida
    October 5, 2009 at 16:09

    @ Patti

    Is it really true that American workers will not do the dirty work that migrants perform? In this brutal economy in which you and I live here in S.W. Florida, many Americans are proving they will do the work when they have to do it. During the “boom” we could not get enough people to do these jobs because American workers could find better work for more pay. Now I see Americans doing almost anything since it is all that is available, and migrants are leaving the area seeking work that is no longer available here.

    No, I would prefer not to do “dirty work;” however, if I have to do it — yes, I will and so will most Americans, and I am sure Europeans as well.

    • 12 Tom K in Mpls
      October 5, 2009 at 16:23

      No job is too dirty when the pay is reasonable.

    • 13 patti in cape coral
      October 5, 2009 at 17:03

      @ Dave in Florida – “Is it really true that American workers will not do the dirty work that migrants perform?”

      -Yup, it is really true in my experience. I have yet to see an American face picking strawberries for the festival in Ocala (?), living in a shack I wouldn’t house my dog in. Most of my co-worker’s husband’s lost their construction jobs and will loudly announce all the various jobs they refuse to do, no way are they going to work for minimum wage at 7-Eleven, they would rather stay home.

      I agree with you that I would avoid dirty work if I could, but I’m prepared to do what ever I have to. I disagree that most Americans feel the same as we do. I don’t know about Europeans.

  12. 14 nora
    October 5, 2009 at 16:32

    One in seven people on the planet are migrants. So why are we pretending that slamming borders closed will solve anything? One in seven is huge. In California, we have the best food in the world and I for one, would like to thank the migrant cooks for gai bao, kim chee, injera, platanos fritos, cappelli bolognese, pad thai, piroshki and most of all, espresso.

  13. 15 Jessica in NYC
    October 5, 2009 at 18:24

    This is a great topic to explore and discuss. A lot had been written on both sides, but it’s hard to argue with numbers. Well, maybe not hard to argue, but the statics show imply that migrant work is essential in the US for our aging population of baby boomers that are retiring. Hope this topic makes it onto a show.

  14. 16 Tan Boon Tee
    October 6, 2009 at 03:32

    Do you mean “migrant workers”?

    Could millions of blue-collar migrant workers pull the world out of recession when billions of locals at all levels are still struggling hard to overcome the economic crisis?

    Migrant workers mainly take the menial jobs that the locals shun. In fact, the rate of unemployment of a good number of nations could well be much reduced if the citizens concerned would be less choosy in picking up any type of job.

    Just think hard.


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