Labor Migration in Asia
Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis and the Post-Pandemic Future
This report analyzes the labor migration trends in Asia and puts them in the context
of economic and policy developments and the changes wrought by the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) pandemic. It examines the policy settings in the major origin and destination
countries of labor migrants and the medium- and long-term factors that will shape
the future of labor migration in Asia. It further provides important recommendations
for building back better in a post-pandemic world.
This analysis draws partly on discussions that took place at the “10th ADBI-OECD-ILO
Roundtable on Labor Migration: Future of Labor Migration in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities
in the Next Decade,” held in Bangkok, Thailand, in February 2020, an annual event
co-organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute, the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development, and the International Labour Organization that brings
together regional experts and policy makers. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
the publication focuses on the pandemic’s impacts on labor mobility.
The report offers up-to-date comparative statistics on labor migration flows, including
evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on flows and remittances. Two statistical annexes
offer detailed country fact sheets and coverage of intra-Asia and cross-regional migration
flows. The report also includes discussions on the future of labor migration in the
aftermath of the pandemic and the role of technology and digitalization in labor mobility
and its management.
Published on April 27, 2021