Posts tagged 'Immigration'

Employment and immigration in oil-exporting countries

Citigroup suggests a rather grim fix for oil-exporting countries struggling with the drop in crude prices: Lower ambitions for economic growth, and fewer unskilled immigrants.

Limiting immigration is a tactic that’s appealed to other countries recently (we’d make a snarky comment about the UK, if only we Yanks were in any place to feel superior). But we’re willing to at least entertain the logic, since GCC countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia — are in a very different situation than Europe and the US. They’ve historically relied heavily on foreign nationals’ labour in the private sector, and employed domestic workers in oil-funded government jobs.  Read more

Sweden’s job market isn’t working for non-EU migrants

Compared to most rich countries, Sweden handled the twin challenges of the 2007-8 crisis and the never-ending euro crisis with aplomb.

The share of people in Sweden with a job is at all-time highs. Real output per person is at all-time highs, and has grown much more than in most other rich countries over the past ten years. Underlying inflation is essentially at its long-term average. The trade surplus remains massive. And Swedish house prices continue to float into the stratosphere.

Yet despite all this, Sweden’s central bank has been unusually aggressive in trying to stimulate its economy by cutting interest rates far below zero, buying assets, and cheapening its (already undervalued) currency.

We recently had the chance to talk to a former Swedish central banker about this. He suggested the Riksbank could potentially justify its behaviour as an attempt to heal structural problems in Sweden’s jobs market. Read more

Could immigration controls be the solution to New Zealand’s frothy housing market?

Here’s an interesting thought from Grant Spencer, the Deputy Governor in charge of financial stability at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand:

While boosting the capacity for development and housing supply is paramount, it is also important to explore policies that will keep the demand for housing more in line with supply capacity…We cannot ignore that the 160,000 net inflow of permanent and long-term migrants over the last 3 years has generated an unprecedented increase in the population and a significant boost to housing demand…There may be merit in reviewing whether migration policy is securing the number and composition of skills intended. While any adjustments would operate at the margin, they could over time help to moderate the housing market imbalance. Read more

Immigration and Abenomics revisited

Cardiff has already written a long’un on this and we hate to keep banging on about such a muddy topic but Credit Suisse have a handy reminder out about the immigration issue in Japan which is worth a read:

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Employer power, high-skill immigration and what we’re really talking about

There’s a lot I disagree with in Ross Eisenbrey’s NYT piece on high-skilled immigration, but I’ll start with this:

The bill’s authors, led by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, argue that America would benefit from letting more immigrants trained in science, technology, engineering and math work in the country, with the sponsorship of high-tech companies like Microsoft and I.B.M. … Read more

A cap and trade proposal… for immigration

Political change in a democratic republic can be painfully slow, and thus even the improved chance of a meagre and incremental positive change is a good enough excuse to celebrate when it comes.

The two immigration proposals that emerged early this week from the Senate and from the President could well meet this standard, though it all depends how the politics shakes out. Read more

Immigration economics and “dirty jobs”, plus a Q&A with Giovanni Peri

We’ve seen a lot interesting and deservedly favourable commentary about Alex Tabarrok’s argument that liberalising high-skill immigration policy in the US would be an economic boon.

Hey, we’re all for it and it’s more politically feasible than wider substantive reform on illegal immigration, in part because its entrepreneurial and societal benefits are intuitively easy to grasp. Read more

New minorities are the new majority

Fascinating data point via the Brookings Institution:

The new Census results show 49.8 percent of infants under age one are members of a race-ethnic minority – up from 42.4 percent in 2000. Given this trajectory, and the fact that the Census was taken well over a year ago, it is almost certain we have now “tipped” racially, and more than half of all national births are minorities. More than a quarter of infants are Hispanic, Blacks and Asians comprise 13.6 and 4.2 percent, respectively. Nearly one in twenty births were reported to be two or more races.

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Was demographics destiny after all?

Interesting USDA chart, pointed out by Big Picture Agriculture:

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US immigration edition

Here’s a chart that caught our eye from the CBO’s latest report on US immigration trends, updated with data through the end of 2009:

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UK to relax entry for super-rich

Multimillionaires who are prepared to invest their money in Britain will find it easier to make a home in the UK under government plans to relax immigration rules for the ­super-rich, reports the FT. The Home Office will shortly propose changes to “investor visas” to encourage more rich people to live and invest in the UK. The move comes as the government slashes foreign student numbers in an attempt to reduce yearly net migration to the “tens of thousands” – amid protest from universities reliant on income from overseas students. The coalition has also cut by 20% the number of skilled workers British business can bring in from outside the EU; and only 1,000 highly skilled workers without a job offer will be allowed to migrate to the UK, each year, compared with 14,000 a year ago.

We are all ostriches now

More on global demographic time-bombs, this time from Deutsche Bank, which has stumbled upon a potential answer: mass migration from the developing to the developed world.

Writing in the latest edition of Deutsche’s Long-Term Asset Study, Jim Reid says that moves to push up retirement ages by a year or two won’t do enough to ease the problem facing public finances in the developed world. Read more