Who Needs Migrant Workers?: Labour Shortages, Immigration, and Public Policy

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9780199580590: Who Needs Migrant Workers?: Labour Shortages, Immigration, and Public Policy
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Are migrant workers needed to 'do the jobs that locals will not do' or are they simply a more exploitable labour force? Do they have a better 'work ethic' or are they less able to complain? Is migrant labour the solution to 'skills shortages' or actually part of the problem? This book provides a comprehensive framework for analysing the demand for migrant workers in high-income countries. It demonstrates how a wide range of government policies, often unrelated to migration, contribute to creating a growing demand for migrant labour. This demand can persist even during economic downturns. The book includes quantitative and qualitative analyses of the changing role of migrants in the UK economy. The empirical chapters include in-depth examinations of the nature of staff shortages and the use of migrant workers in six sectors: health; social care; hospitality; food production; construction; and financial services. The book' s conceptual framework and empirical findings are of importance to academic and policy debates about labour immigration in all high-income countries. The final chapter presents a comparative analysis of research and policy approaches to assessing labour shortages in the UK and the US. It examines the potential lessons of the UK's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) for current debates about labour shortages and immigration reform in the US. The book will be of significant interest to policy-makers, stakeholders, academics and students.

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Review:

Population scientists and practitioners will find this volume exceptionally helpful. (Stuart Basten, European Journal of Population.)

Who Needs Migrant Workers? should be highly recommended to anybody interested not only in immigration but in the governance of modern economies and labour markets in general. (Alexandre Afonso, Swiss Political Science Review)

The books chapters alongside short commentaries, which follow them, provide an authoritative and valuable source for industrial relations scholars interested in migration. (Zinovijus Ciupijus, British Journal of Industrial Relations)

The volume is excellent, and the sectoral studies provide a wealth of data on the unique character of labour demand in each. The editors provide a thoughtful and careful meditation on the complexities. (Nigel Harris, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies)

Highly welcome... probably the most accessible set-piece introduction to migrant work in the UK yet published... Population scientists and practitioners will find this volume exceptionally helpful...the book both explicitly and implicitly provides valuable insights for both sending and receiving countries the world over. (Stuart Basten, European Journal of Population)

A masterful volume on the role of immigration policy in addressing current and future labor shortages. Drawing on a stellar group of experts, the edited volume addresses the employment of foreign workers in a wide range of industries at all skill levels. This comprehensive review of migrant worker programs is a welcome compendium for academics, practitioners and policy makers alike. (Susan Martin, Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University)

Ruhs and Anderson have put together a terrific team to analyse immigration for work in the UK. An excellent overview by the editors is followed by detailed studies of six sectors: health; social-care; hospitality; food production; construction; and financial services. This is the definitive research on the demand for migrant workers and will inform the debate for years to come. (David Metcalf, CBE, Emeritus Professor, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics)

How labour migration can and should be regulated is one of the most pressing issues of our time. This excellent book is a feasibility study dealing with perceived staff shortages. It provides substantial insights by an outstanding group of scientists and contributes significantly to our understanding of an extremely contentious policy problem. (Klaus F. Zimmermann, Director IZA and Professor of Economics, University of Bonn)

In good times many people profit from the goods and services produced by migrant workers. In times if crisis the same people see them as unfair competitors. This masterly written and edited book fights prejudices with empirical evidence from the UK on labour shortage and the ways in which such gaps can be filled. This is of significance well beyond the UK. It is a must read for everyone interested in migration policy development and the evolution of labour markets. (Rainer Münz, Erste Bank and Hamburg Institute of International Economics)

Who Needs Migrant Workers? presents both a rigorous analytical methodology to measure labor shortages and a practical conceptual framework to assess whether migrants should be imported to fill those shortages Who Needs Migrant Workers? is must reading for all who are interested in this important subject. (Ray Marshall, US Secretary of Labor and Emeritus, University of Texas)

About the Author:

Martin Ruhs' research focuses on the economics and politics of labour immigration, with a strong international comparative dimension. Recent publications include 'Economic Research and Labour Immigration Policy' and 'Semi-compliance and illegality in migrant labour markets.' Martin is a member of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), a highly influential body of independent academic economists advising the UK government on labour immigration policy. He was Specialist Adviser to a recent House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee Inquiry into the economic impacts of immigration in the UK. He has provided migration policy analysis and advice for various national governments and international institutions including the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Bridget Anderson's research interests include low waged labour migration, legal status, and citizenship. Publications include 'Migrants and Work Related Rights' (Ethics and International Affairs 2008), and Doing the Dirty Work? The global politics of Domestic Labour (Zed Books 2000). She has worked with the Trades Union Congress, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the International Labour Organisation, and a wide range of national and international NGOs.

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