(HN, AUGUST 24, 2010) There has been much negative publicity lately of immigrants being blamed for taking the jobs of locals in many countries. Whether in the USA, France or in South Africa, foreign-born workers - both legal and illegal - have become targets of those who say they have exacerbated the economic downturn.
Proponents say immigrants were key drivers behind the economic boom, as they added skills and productivity to lift performance.
Now, in fact, almost everywhere migrants are feeling the brunt of the crisis.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), immigrants are particularly vulnerable during prolonged economic downturns, and this crisis has had the effect of throwing many immigrant workers out of work at a higher rate than for native-born workers. One reason is that immigrants tend to work in sectors which are sensitive to swings in the economic climate, that is, where demand for workers rises sharply in good times and drops fast during bad.
The graph below demonstrates their plight.