Immigrants welcome, but not on the labour market

Published on 14 June 2013 at 14:36


According to a June 13 report by the OECD, human migration within the EU is once again on the rise, after three consecutive years of contraction due to the crisis. However, foreigners’ chances of finding jobs have diminished: approximately half of out-of-work immigrants has been unemployed for more than 12 months.

“Germany unable to keep immigrants for long,” headlines Die Welt, noting that only one in two Greeks and just one in three of Spaniards who arrived in Germany in 2011 stayed for more than a year. Figures for Italian migrants are only slightly better, with 40 percent opting to settle in the country, explains the newspaper. According to an OECD expert:

Germany should do more to welcome migrants and to update the skills of workers whose qualifications do not comply with German standards.

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In Vienna, Der Standard voices a similar opinion. “Austria could benefit more from immigrants,” writes the newspaper. Improving their integration on the labour market would could generate an additional €1.2bn for the state, which it should invest not only in training for recently arrived workers but also for second generation immigrants:

The daughters of migrants from the former Yugoslavia are twice as likely to be unemployed as the similarly-aged daughters of families that have lived in Austria for several generations.

In contrast, Switzerland “benefits from immigrants” announces the headline in Neue Züricher Zeitung: along with Luxembourg, it is the OECD country that derives optimal advantage from migration. The newspaper highlights three reasons for this success:

Firstly, there is high proportion of immigrants when compared to the number of Swiss citizens; secondly, the immigrants that arrive in Swizerland are of working age, and thirdly, most of the best qualified hold down jobs.

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