Briefs
2009 .06

The consequences of the financial crisis on foreign workers and the labour market


Authors: Cristina Cattaneo

Abstract

The financial crisis has produced a fall in the economic activities and an increase in unemployment. All workers suffered from the downturn, but some actors in the labour market are more vulnerable than others. Given that the foreign workers are particularly exposed to the downturn, immigrant integration policies should be strengthened to avoid long-term labour market exclusion. This type of policies also benefits the host community as a scarce integration of immigrants brings social tension and unrest to the community itself. Immigration policies tend to respond to the crisis, curbing the number of people allowed to enter through official channels. Policies that aim at excessively reducing the immigration flows should be avoided, as they risk to break the flexibility that the foreign labour brings. Strict hiring legislation against foreign labour damages not only the migrants but also the host economies as they will again demand migrants to meet their labour market requirements.

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