Latin American migrants in informal jobs hamper their integration

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Migrants in Latin America are more likely to work in informal jobs despite higher qualifications than native workers, hampering their integration, a joint report by three international organizations showed on Friday.

According to the study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), more than 50% of migrants in the region are likely to find informal work.

This trend was recorded in at least half of the 12 countries analyzed.

Migrants tend to end up with more temporary contracts and longer shifts, working 50 hours or more per week, than native workers, with 45% working informally on average, the report adds.

The poor quality of jobs found by migrants reveals a failure to take advantage of the opportunities that migration can bring to these countries, the report says.

He noted that in the last 10 years, only Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and the Dominican Republic have implemented special permits and visas to regulate the situation of immigrants.

Migrant women tend to be better educated than migrant men, the report says, but adds that “the proportion of working-age migrant men who are employed exceeds that of migrant women by more than 27 percentage points.”

Mexico is the country with the second lowest proportion of migrants compared to its total population, with about 66% born in the United States and most of them children of Mexican citizens who returned to the country from Latin America.

Mexico, however, is home to the precarious smuggling of migrants en route to the United States, which has resulted in notable tragedies in recent years.

(Reporting by Marion Giraldo; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Diane Craft)

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