How Economies Lean on Immigration to Boost The Workforce

By: Anneken Tappe · March 05, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Migration Momentum

America’s labor shortage was one of the economic idiosyncrasies that came out of the pandemic. But labor shortages as such, aren’t new. Around the world, economies rely on migrant labor to fill jobs they can’t fill otherwise.

The numbers are staggering: In 2022, international migration rose 26% year-over-year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). More than 6 million people permanently immigrated to the 38 OECD countries, the highest total in nearly two decades. The U.S. alone welcomed a net total of 3.3 million migrants in 2023, more than triple the average of the previous decade.

Lawmakers are embracing this shift but some economists are concerned businesses could become too dependent on cheaper foreign labor in the long term, which could lead to less comparative investment in technology.

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