(Pand)Economic Migration: An Attempt to Assess the COVID-19 Impact on European Migrant Workers Situations

Anna Barwinska-Malajowicz, Kamila Tecza
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Issue 4, 678-690, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2615


Purpose: The main objective is an attempt to present the decision motives and situation of economic migrants during COVID-19 pandemic. The research hypothesis adopted is “The push, pull and indirect obstacles created in the first year of the pandemic, had an impact on European labour migrants only in the short term.” Design/Methodology/Approach: The basis were economic migrants from the Ukraine, Poland and Germany. The literature analysis, desk research and descriptive statistics method as well as selected statistical analysis indicators were applied. The conducted analyses feature references to reports and data bases collected from Eurostat and bureaus of statistics of individual countries. Findings: The impact of the COVID-19 on emigration depends on the nature of the migration factor dominating among emigrants. In the case of migrants from Ukraine or Poland (mainly labour nature of migration), the impact of the COVID-19 was short-term. Despite the restrictions, differences in the labour markets of the sending and receiving countries continued to be a strong motivation. The uncertainty for migrants in terms of legislation was also short-term. In the case of emigrants from Germany, in which emigration is dominated by more effective allocation of human capital, the pandemic slowed down the scale of emigration. Practical Implications: The results of the research will be useful not only for migrants, but also for governments. It can also constitute a starting point for in-depth considerations on pandemic impact on international migration and labour markets. Due to the different nature of European countries, economic migration will help government bodies to adopt effective migration policy by developing more effective methods to support the migrant employment. Originality/Value: It is a unique comparison of economic motives for foreign emigration taking into account the impact of the elements of the push-pull theory, both within the EU migration to/from the EU from/to third countries, in the first year of the pandemic.

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