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The OECD released its International Migration Outlook 2010 report today which states that the inflow of immigrants to OECD countries fell by about 6 percent in 2008 to 4.4 million people, reversing five years of average annual increases of 11 percent. Recent national data suggest migration numbers fell further in 2009. The decline reflects a fall in labour demand in OECD countries and immigrants have been hard hit by the jobs crisis, with young immigrants, in particular, suffering steeper drops in employment. 


Free movement areas

Migration within free movement areas accounted for about 25 percent of all migration in the OECD in 2008 and 44 percent in Europe. In Norway, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark such migration accounts for well more than half of all migration. Among European countries, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy all appeared as important labour migration countries in 2008, with 20-30 percent of permanent-type immigrants arriving for work-related reasons.



In Ireland the past decade was characterized by a sharp increase in migration inflows, from 27,800 in 2000 to 89,500 in 2007. In 2008 the figure decreased to 67,600 and outflow rose to 31,900. According to the Labour Force Survey data Ireland saw its first negative net migration in 2009 since the mid-1990s.


Whereas more than half of the incoming migrants were from the 12 most recent EU member states in 2007, their share in 2009 was 35 percent. The largest share (30 percent) of emigrants from Ireland in 2008 were nationals of the new EU member states, whose unemployment rate of 19 percent in Quarter 2 2009 compared to 11 percent for Irish nationals.