December 14th local time, the International Labour Organization released a new report, pointing out that the average wages of immigrants in high-income countries are nearly 13% lower than that of their workers, and the gap in some countries is 42%.
The report entitled “Immigrate Wage Gap: Understanding the Wage Gap between Migrants and Domestic Workers” shows that, for example, in Cyprus, Italy and Austria, the hourly wage gap between the two is even larger, at 42%, 30% and 25%, respectively; Finland is below the average at 11%; and the EU is almost 9%.
In the past five years, the wage gap between immigrants and natives in some high-income countries has widened. For example, the latest data shows that Italian migrant workers earn 30% lower than their own people, compared with 27% in 2015.
At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the discrimination and exclusion faced by migrant workers in various countries.
The report points out that migrants from high-income countries are more likely to engage in unstable jobs.
Of these, temporary contracts accounted for 27% and part-time jobs accounted for 15%. They account for an excessive proportion of primary industries such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and also take up more jobs than domestic workers in mining, manufacturing, electricity, gas and water production and supply, and secondary industries such as construction.
“Migrant workers often face unequal treatment in the labor market, including wages, employment and training opportunities, working conditions, social security and trade union rights,” said Michelle Leiden, director of the ILO’s Labor Migration Bureau.
They play a fundamental role in many economies and cannot be regarded as second-class citizens.