Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Employers' Openness to Labour Immigrants

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Employers' Openness to Labour Immigrants

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the modern world, which has been affected by globalization processes, international migration has been growing, significantly changing demographic structures and raising new social and economic problems. Emigration has been widely examined by both foreign and Lithuanian scientists, as it is a fairly old and frequent phenomenon. The focus in Lithuania has also been on the analysis and explanation of emigration processes. However, taking into consideration the consequences of emigration in Lithuania, such as declining demographic situation, labour force shortages, and economic instability, it is expected that over the next decade, as the globalization processes continue, net migration in Lithuania will turn positive and the flow of immigrants, in addition to re-emigrants (returning emigrants), will increase substantially. One of the main problems in this regard is openness to immigration. This phenomenon is relatively new and underexplored by both foreign and Lithuanian scientists. However, as migration levels and migration of people of different religions, cultures and races keep growing, the local residents' openness to immigration has been observed to be restricted by certain factors that determine their attitude to immigrants and their integration into the labour market.

The aim of the paper is to evaluate the factors determining the attitudes of employers towards labour immigrants as well as openness to labour immigrants in Lithuania. Seeking to achieve this aim the following tasks have been posed:

* To present theoretical background of labor migration defining the main causes for migration;

* To present theoretical analysis of the openness to immigration and its main drivers;

* To analyse immigration trends in Lithuania and the empirical studies conducted on this issue in the country;

* To define the key drivers of attitudes towards labor immigrants.

1.Theoretical analysis of the concept of migration

In general, migration (from Latin 'migratio' - moving, travelling) is the mobility of people that is determined by a variety of factors. Many authors sought to formulate a definition that would best describe migration (Streimikiene et al., 2016; Calabuig-Moreno et al., 2016; Jasinskas et al., 2015). Different attitudes toward migration have resulted in different definitions of it as a phenomenon (Table 1).

Two trends can be observed in Table 1: migration is defined in the narrow and the wide sense. In the narrow sense, migration is defined as the movement of people from one location to another (Stockwell, Groat, 1984). In the wide sense, possible causes and consequences are presented, for instance, the definition by B. Brazauskienė and G. Kazlauskienė (2002) specify the result of migration: population change (from the perspectives of both the country of origin and the host country). To summarize, it could be stated that migration is departure or arrival in another country in pursuit of personal economic prosperity.

Scientific literature also recognizes the aspect of migration in terms of time. Migration is divided into long-term (from one year) and short-term (from 3 months to 1 year long). According to A. Damulienė (2013), from the perspective of the economy in the country of origin, the more harmful migration is long-term, as most of those who leave for a long period of time usually do not return, investments into education are lost and finally specialists of a specific field are given up (brain drain). Thus, one could claim that two dimensions are important in the search of a united definition: dimensions of space (relocation, movement to live elsewhere) and time (long-term, short-term). For this reason, it would be sensible to update the previously presented definition with the dimension of time: migration is a longterm departure or arrival in another country in pursuit of personal economic prosperity.

Scientific literature distinguishes separate types of migration that depend on various aspects which determine migration (Table 2). …

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