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Pacific Labor Mobility, Migration and Remittances in Times of COVID-19 : Summary Report (English)

Having limited formal employment opportunities at home, a large and increasing number of Pacific workers have sought and found jobs overseas. Many find employment in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Program and the Pacific Labor Scheme, and in New Zealand under the Recognized Seasonal Employer Scheme. They engage primarily in low-skilled seasonal work in the agriculture sector, forming part of a broader Pacific workforce that works overseas and remits money home to support the livelihood of their families and home communities. The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted the flows of labor and income across Pacific borders. New arrivals under such labor mobility schemes were suspended for the most part of 2020 and, although now resumed, have stayed well below pre-pandemic level. Border closures also left thousands of seasonal workers stranded in Australia and New Zealand, facing long separations from family and periods of uncertainty around their visas and employment. Pacific Islanders who are working in Australia and New Zealand under longer-term visas also face higher unemployment risk as host economies are affected by the pandemic. COVID-19 has therefore likely reduced employment, earnings and remittances of Pacific migrant workers, and consequently, the wellbeing of remittance-reliant households in the region. This report presents findings on the impacts of the crisis on Pacific labor mobility and remittances, based on data from a series of phone-based surveys on Pacific migrant workers, their households and employers under various labor mobility schemes in Australia and New Zealand, as well as Pacific diaspora groups in both countries.

Details

  • Author

    World Bank

  • Document Date

    2021/11/28

  • Document Type

    Report

  • Report Number

    166534

  • Volume No

    1

  • Country

    Papua New Guinea & Pacific Islands, PNG & PI

  • Region

    East Asia and Pacific,

  • Disclosure Status

    Disclosed

  • Doc Name

    Pacific Labor Mobility, Migration and Remittances in Times of COVID-19 : Summary Report

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Citation

World Bank

Pacific Labor Mobility, Migration and Remittances in Times of COVID-19 : Summary Report (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/099120012012111994/P1716380a950e90c20b0a70a63a62803858