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News | 17 Jun 2022

Labour market consequences of COVID-19 for migrant workers

The European labour markets were severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated containment measures.

A new JRC Technical Report looks at the labour market participation trends for natives, EU-born migrants and non-EU born migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report confirms that the pandemic had an unequal impact on the employment rates among native and migrant workers.

Compared to the last pre-pandemic quarter (quarter 4 of 2019), in the first quarter of 2021 the employment rates fell by about 2 percentage points for natives, 2.5 percentage points for EU born migrants and almost 4.5 percentage points for non-EU born migrants.

The probability of job termination was twice higher for non-EU born workers compared to native-born citizens.

Non-EU born citizens tend to be over-represented in sectors that were highly affected by the pandemic, and within these sectors, non-EU born workers were more likely to lose their jobs than both EU-born migrants and natives.

Younger workers and women were particularly affected by the pandemic.

The report shows that the probability of job termination was more than twice higher in the 20-24 age group compared to the 45-49 age group, irrespective of the origin of the worker.

The decline in employment rates was sharper for women than for men.

By July 2021, most labour market indicators had returned to their pre-pandemic trends for all workers.