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Microsoft Word crm-ptmt el Salvador 2009[final]. doc

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Workshop on Temporary Migrant Workers Programs

 

 

30

been on the agenda, and the incidence of temporality among migrants is not known. Therefore, 

differences are difficult to establish. 

Furthermore, it has been observed that labor demand in Latin America and the Caribbean 

seems to affect the geographic distribution of migrant workers, who tend to concentrate in urban areas 

which offer greater diversity of employment opportunities. However, historical flows of agricultural 

workers exist, with a significant presence in rural areas in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, 

and Costa Rica (CEPAL, 2008).

  

B. Labor Participation and Occupational Sectors of Migrants 

Within Latin America and the Caribbean 

A first review of the document “Movilidad Internacional de Personas y Protección Social” 

(International Movement of Persons and Social Protection), prepared by Tokman (2008) based on 

home surveys from eleven Latin American countries, shows that differences in labor participation and 

employment rates among migrants and nationals are not significant. As Table 1 shows, “immigrants 

show a higher degree of participation in the labor market, which is associated, partly, to the age 

structure, and a higher degree of employment, which is associated to the level of education”. On the 

other hand, average unemployment rates seem to be the same for immigrants and nationals.

  

 

TABLE 1 

EMPLOYMENT, PARTICIPATION, AND UNEMPLOYMENT RATES OF MIGRANTS  

AND NATIONALS IN ELEVEN LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES 

  

Participation Rate 

Employment Rate 

Unemployment Rate 

Countries Nationals 

Migrants 

Nationals Migrants Nationals Migrants 

Argentina 68.6 

71.7 

61.1 

66.4 

10.9 

7.3 

Bolivia 69.7 

75.7 

65.5 

64.8 

6.1 

14.4 

Brazil 74.5 

74.1 

67.5 

69.5 

9.3 

4.7 

Chile 63.6 

71.3 

58.6 

67.5 

7.8 

5.3 

Costa Rica 

66.2 

72.3 

62.2 

69.0 

6.2 

4.6 

Ecuador 76.4 

81.5 

70.9 

77.3 

7.2 

5.2 

Guatemala 69.5 

64.3 

66.1 

54.1 

4.8 

15.8 

Honduras 65.3 

70.7 

60.3 

66.1 

7.7 

6.5 

Mexico 66.0 

62.9 

63.3 

58.3 

4.1 

7.4 

Nicaragua 69.0 

60.8 

60.2 

53.6 

12.8 

11.7 

Dominican Republic 

69.3 74.1  55.9 66.2 19.3 10.7 

Paraguay 72.8 

74.4 

67.1 69.9  7.8  6.1 

Average 

69.3 71.1  53.4 65.1  8.5  8.4 

Source: Tokman, V. (2008), “Movilidad internacional de personas y protección social”, in Serie Macroeconomía del 

Desarrollo, 67 (LC/L.2913-P), Santiago de Chile, CEPAL. Prepared with information from CEPAL about home 

surveys in each country. 

Refers to the arithmetic average. 

 

The following graphs prepared by the author allow identifying this behavior: “Graphs [1a and 

1b] show that Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Paraguay are 

above the cut-off line, which means that participation and employment rates for immigrants exceed 

those registered for nationals. As a result, in Graph [1c] these countries are below the line, showing 

that the unemployment rates for immigrants are lower than the rates for nationals, while the contrary 

occurs with the other mentioned countries” (Tokman, 2008:25).

  



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