Reversal of global migration trends due to the crisis, on the chosen example.

The economic crisis which hit Europe, has left its mark in the labor market. In a particularly difficult situation were young people just entering the labor market, for which there is no place. This forced many of them to consider the decision to emigrate from their homeland. For many years remained constant trend in this area. Countries which were characterized by a high rate of emigration (in the European scale- usually countries of the “new union” – Central and Eastern Europe, in the world’s scale- former colonies- Spanish, Portuguese and French), whose citizens have decided to move to countries with a higher standard of living. There was also a group of countries that were typical destination for immigrants. Citizens of the “New Union” countries usually decided to move to Germany, the UK and France. The destination of the newcomers from the former colonies, was the home countries of these colonies- France, Portugal and Spain. Large influx of immigrants from Africa have been registered also in Italy and Greece.

The economic crisis with his affect on the U.S. and Europe caused a reduction in the living standards of many people in the Old Continent. By this we can see a change in the global migration trends. It turns out that people in countries such as Portugal and Spain-seen so far as a haven for immigrants, now consider the possibility of moving to another part of the world in search for jobs. However, the Spanish immigrant profile is significantly different from the immigrants from central and eastern Europe. Poles, Lithuanians or Hungarians who decide to emigrate are often well educated and who know the languages ​​of the countries to which they wish to move. Their decision to leave the country is a cause of “brain drain” in the homeland. Often the situation forces them to work below their qualifications in the country of destination.

Most of the young people in Spain decide to abandon schools very early, not earning an education that allows them to be skilled labor force abroad, the problem is also the lack of foreign language skills. Perhaps that is why it is easier for them to decide to move to a country that is former colony. Especially now, when the economic situation in Latin America and the development of the continent in recent years has caused a reduction in unemployment to an approximately 6% (as shown in the figure below data in %, year 2012).

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Of course it is not so that every person who decide to leave Spain does not have education and does not know foreign languages. There is a group of highly educated people who emigrate because of the inability to find a job in their profession for decent wages. Here is another difference between an immigrant from Eastern Europe and Spanish. They do not decide to work below their qualifications, as it is in the case of Poles travelling to England for example. Interestingly, in recent years we have seen an increase of immigrants from Spain in Poland, which seem to be quite unattractive country for migrants from the west. However, it appears that the Spanish engineer that could count on a salary of 800 euros per month, which in Spain is a small amount in Poland with its lower cost of living, accept the offer and work in another country treats not only as a way to survive the crisis, but also interesting experience in his career.

Spaniards are the largest group among immigrants from Western Europe in Poland. Often they are trying for management positions in Spanish companies, or a job as a teacher of Spanish. Why they are choosing Poland? A large group of Spanish immigrants in Poland are former Erasmus, who knew the country while on international exchange, and more recently, people who had the opportunity to meet and like the country during the Euro 2012 Championships.

I believe that if the financial situation force someone to emigrate can not be considered to be the most optimistic and the best situation. However, a trend which can be observed in recent years, shown here on the example of Spanish immigrants, is in my opinion very interesting from the point of view of the international labor market. I think a few years ago, no one expected that Spain, a country receiving a large group of foreign workers in 2012 will record a negative migration balance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           Alicja Falińska, Blaž Kralj

One thought on “Reversal of global migration trends due to the crisis, on the chosen example.

  1. All Europeans are searching for the promised land. The financial and economic crisis in Europe have changed immigrations channels, because the old continent is no attractive to the youth and educated people anymore. Recent analyses of migrations shows that for the young and educated Spaniards; the Europe and USA are not the only attractive destinations anymore. For them now are America, Australia and even Asian and African countries. For example every month, one thousand young, highly educated Spaniards are moving to Argentina. The result is a brain drain. Not only for Spain, but for all Europe this could mean »losing the future«.


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