ILO launches report on the Migrant Pay Gap

7 Feb 2021

Understanding wage differences between migrants and nationals analysing how migrant wages have evolved in 49 countries before the COVID-19 Pandemic

Labour migration can be an important vehicle for development, when it is fair, well-governed and allows migrant workers to access decent work. The world counts an estimated 164 million migrant workers, almost half of them women. They comprise 4.7 per cent of the global workforce and contribute enormously to societies’ growth and development.

Yet, migrant workers are too often treated unfairly and unequally in the labour market. The COVID-19 crisis threatens to further increase inequalities and labour market differences between migrant workers and nationals, for example with respect to access to employment, types of work, working conditions or skills development opportunities, which may in turn further deepen migrant pay gaps.

The publication which was launched by the International Labour Office in December 2020, analyses how migrant wages have evolved in 49 countries before the COVID-19 Pandemic. The report details the difficulties faced by migrants in receiving the same pay as nationals. It examines gender discrimination affecting women migrants and the difficulties migrants have in getting a job that corresponds to their level of education. It also includes first indications of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on migrant workers. It as well provides an important way forward by showing how to measure working conditions, especially wages, of migrant workers, on the basis of which we can identify the extent of the problem, and define the appropriate measures.