If they were a country, all the migrants on earth would make up the third-largest economy in the world, according to a study by the BCG Henderson Institute, the think tank of the Boston Consulting Group, which has worked with the International Organization for Migration.
According to these American researchers, migrants generate about 9,000 billion dollars in economic output every year in the world. This is a figure that is underestimated, the report says, because not all the economic impacts of migrants as consumers or entrepreneurs are taken into account. On the other hand, this number may double by 2050 because migration is likely to increase, while in 2020 there were approximately 280 million migrants or 3.6% of the world’s population.
Migrants represent a real asset to the global economy and businesses. Furthermore, according to this survey, 72% of business leaders believe that migrants are an opportunity for the development of their country. A score much higher than world public opinion, which only agrees at 41%.
Yet while 95% of business leaders say they intend to create more diverse teams, only 5% of them are doing so in a way that will have a real impact. Leaders seem to have other priorities right now: global geopolitical stability and climate change are uppermost in their minds. There should also be a more flexible reception policy, so that these migrants have the opportunity to try their luck elsewhere, they point out.
A solution to the lack of labor in certain sectors
Whether in the US, China, Germany, UK or Canada for the most affected countries, this structural labor shortage costs the world $1 trillion a year. , according to this study. Across the 30 largest economies, researchers found 30 million jobs needed to be filled, particularly in manufacturing, information and communications technology, and health care.
Companies that welcome large numbers of immigrants to their management teams also have profits that increase by 15% on average and are more likely to be among the global champions of innovation. For example, Pfizer-BioNTech’s latest Covid-19 vaccine is the work of the Turkish duo Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, two Turkish immigrants to Germany. And these researchers point out that the innovations that drive our society forward often come from people who look at what seems familiar to us with fresh eyes. For these pioneers in uncharted territory, crossing boundaries—not just mental boundaries, but physical boundaries as well—is the key to imagining new possibilities.
So what does it take for these migrants to have easier access to the labor market? A real political will in the first place. The laws governing immigration are of course more or less strict depending on the country, they remain a key for migrants to move from one country to another. But we must not forget the importance of access to education, training and higher wages.
What is certain is that for the ten countries most affected by demographic decline, which will lose around 345 million working-age adults by 2050, migrants will become an important windfall to keep their economies running and make the more competitive.