According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the global population stands at 6.05 billion (see table 1 and figures 1-4 for growth trend), 85% of this world population size reside in the 164 countries termed as ‘developing countries’ of the world. The world active labour force as at 2009 is estimated to be 4.9 billion (Men- 3.2B; Women- 1.7B) (see table 2) with majority falling between the ages of 15 & 44 (see figure 5) of which 294 million (representing 6%) exist as migrants and 90% of these figures residing in developing countries. 60% of those residing in developing countries have also been estimated to have relocated or in the process of relocating to developed countries of Europe (Europe hosting about 70.6 million in 2005), some parts of Asia, United States, Canada and Australia. (See figure 6). 72% of these relocated labour forces are employed in the service industries, with industries, agricultural sectors having 25% and 3% respectively.
The identified top ranked sending countries include Mexico, Poland, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Colombia, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Philippines whilst the top ranked receiving countries are Germany, France, Italy, Russia, United Kingdom, Spain, United States of America, Canada and Australia
The mass exodus of these productive force have been largely predicted to subsist due to the persistent problems of poor living conditions, poverty as well as insecurity which remain the hydra-headed difficulties the developing countries don’t seem have solutions to.
Intellectuals have strongly argued extensively that the evil of labour migration to the sending countries by all standards far outstrips all perceived or anticipated benefits.
Barro & Martin (1995) supports this view and likewise predicted that the migration of skilled labour will continue to negate economic growth aspirations of sending countries. This is because, the receiving countries establishes the employment conditions and places best premium for its money.
Straubhaar & Wolburg (1998), corroborated this statement by a study of Eastern Europe economic growth for the 1990s wherein, the major retardant of the economic growth drive was largely attributed to the exodus of its productive work force.
Krugman & Obstfeld (2003) supported the statement of income inequality consequences of labour migration, however noted that it will lead to an increase in world’s output.
Olimovo & Bosc (2003) disagreed with the above statements. A study of Tajikistan conducted reveals how labour migration assisted in easing ‘social discontent’ from mass unemployment that resulted when the economy fell apart. Migrant workers from Tajikistan became a vital component in the machinery for economic growth.
Khadria’s (2002) study of India reveals that remittances from the migrants constituted a major part of the country’s financial inflow. Indian migrants further extended support to their home country through foreign direct investment and technology transfer when they convinced Hewlett Packard (HP) to have an operation hub in India.
Passey (2004) reveals that Mexico’s returning migrants have been contributors to developing local communities and assisted in reducing the rural-urban migration drift through the provision of resources and improving social infrastructures.
For a robust analytical review and better insight into appreciating why labour migration does occur with links to its high incidences, it becomes essential also to view the several reasons along the following perspectives: Are these labour migrants moving for economic reasons or non-economic reasons? Are they forced or voluntarily migrating from conducive or non-conducive internal structures at home? What will be the consequences, if any, on their sending countries?
The major reasons for labour migration could be summarized as follows:
In most developing countries, there exists a high significant wage differential arising from urbanization and resultant ‘economic inequalities’. An intended migrant worker will juxtapose the expected earnings abroad vis-à-vis the associated relocation cost. Where the former is higher, the rationale to relocate becomes highly justified.
Unemployment and displacement arising from rapid technological changes through globalization could cause rise to a massive concentration of displaced workers who in turn search for better opportunities where the system is more dynamic.
PURCHASING POWER PARITY:
A migrant’s quest for an enhanced personal economies of scale through a stimulated analysis in the workings of the ‘purchasing power parity’ and anticipated higher standard of living will always make relocation become apparent and the motives highly visible for such worker.
Welfare packages which are linked to the direct relationship between income and post tax adjustment system have been a motivating factor behind massive pull into the developed countries. Basic mortgage facilities aside from other ancillary benefits are made derivable from basic employment.
LACK OF SOCIAL AMENITIES & INFRASTRUCTURES:
The non-availability of basic social infrastructures amenities in the developing countries and non attention to these provisions as a priority makes it rather disheartening. Whilst the cost of migration at times may create a challenge for the migrant in terms of migration expenses, culturally realignment, learning a new language and adjusting to new weather conditions, the incentives derivable from an expected improved life condition, such as acquisition of better skills through education, exposure, training as well as better living standard may become dominating in migration decision making.