It was the second year in a row that migration into OECD countries fell, from just over 4.5m in 2008 to 4.3m in 2009. The change reflected lower demand for workers in OECD countries, the report said.
Migration between EU member states fell by 22 per cent in 2009.
Young immigrants, and immigrant construction, finance and retail workers have been hit by declining job opportunities. However the report stated that the situation was not as bad as might be expected given the global financial crisis. Migration to Australia, Canada and the US actually increased slightly in 2009.
“Demand for labour migration will pick up again. Globalisation and ageing populations make that a certainty,” said Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General.
“Governments must do more to develop legal labour migration channels and foster better use of immigrants’ skills,” Gurría warned.