The importance of foreign migration for shifts in the size of the labour force of European countries: Methodological insights and contemporary evidence from SIRIUS and from selected Non-SIRIUS countries
Christos Bagavos - Panteion University
Slowdown in population growth and population ageing challenge Europe, particularly in terms of the current and future supply of labour. In recent times, those demographic transformations take place in a context of increasing migration flows, which, along with current upward trends in the participation in the labour market of both native females and natives aged between 55-64 years, inevitably affect the total number of economically active persons. The study aims to highlight the importance of migration for labour force trends in selected European countries by placing migration in a comparative framework. It explores the separate contribution of specific groups selected on the basis of age, sex, migration status (migrants vs. non-migrants) and migrant’s origin (EU nationals vs. Non-EU nationals) to overtime changes in the total labour force. The paper points out that, up to date changes in the size of the labour force of the European countries under study are largely due to immigration; either because immigration accelerates labour force growth or leads to increasing trends in the overall labour force in a context of a shrinking number of native active persons. It highlights also that the rising importance of migration for labour supply in Europe would require further implementation of policies that support migrant integration into European labour markets. The paper is prepared in the context of the Horizon 2020 SIRIUS research. Therefore SIRIUS countries i.e. the Czech Republic (CZ), Italy (IT), United Kingdom (UK), Switzerland (CH), Greece (GR), Denmark (DK) and Finland (FI) are included in the analysis. To have a broader comparative view, we include 7 other European countries i.e. Austria (AU), Germany (DE), Norway (NO), the Netherlands (NL), Belgium (BE) and Spain (SP), which are selected on the basis of their history as receiving countries as well as the availability of data.