Migrant Pay Gap in Rich Countries Was Widening Even Before Covid

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Migrant workers in the world’s richest economies are earning 12.6% less than national workers, and the gap is widening, according to the International Labour Organization.

It also said that migrants in high-income countries are more likely to be in precarious work, with more than one quarter on temporary contracts. That’s partly why such workers took a greater hit from the shutdowns of activity because of thecoronavirus.

The new report covered 49 nations, mainly in Europe and the Americas, and showed that the wage gap has widened in many countries in recent years, including Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Norway

“Migrant workers often face inequality of treatment,” even though “they play a fundamental role in many economies,” said Michelle Leighton, chief of the Labour Migration Branch of the ILO.

In addition to wages, she cited access to employment and training, conditions of work, social security, and trade union rights.

Covid-19 has worsened thesituation, widening the labor divide. Tens of millions of migrant workers lost their jobs, as they were in manual jobs and unable to work remotely.

The ILO report also showed that women migrant workers, concentrated in domestic care, earn 21% less than their male national counterparts. That’s higher than the gender pay gap of 16% in the countries surveyed.

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