Jobs are the lifeblood for national economies and family budgets. The search for economic opportunity often drives people to move around the globe. The most educated and highly skilled workers are in demand, and immigration policies often reflect that priority. Less skilled would-be immigrants, however, are often subject to tighter restrictions – even in nations where native citizens refuse to take on harvesting, construction, cleaning or other difficult tasks. Advanced technology reduces the need for labor; employers also rely on outsourcing, contract workers and the internet for digital work, including tax preparation, X-ray analysis or graphic design. Nations fiercely compete for jobs while multinational corporations reduce labor costs to increase profits.

The Choice: More Immigrants or Fewer Citizens?

Nations with declining birthrates could soon be competing for immigrants
Joseph Chamie
March 4, 2013

Guestworkers: Hard To Turn Off Flow

Demographics force US to confront immigration reform, but guestworkers pose challenges
Jagdish Bhagwati
February 25, 2013

Growth Without Equity Roils South Africa

Rapid growth in South African mining sector has failed to produce jobs or equality
Haroon Bhorat, Morné Oosthuizen, Anne Kamau
February 1, 2013

US Lags in Race for Tech Talent

US sets up roadblocks; other nations offer speedy path for residency to skilled tech workers
Vivek Wadhwa
October 26, 2012

Amid US Outsourcing Fears, India’s IT Firms Thrive

As candidate, Obama blasts outsourcing; as president, he emphasizes exports and cooperation
Patrick Thibodeau
October 17, 2012

Some Silicon Valley-Style Pioneers Head East

Returnees fight odds to try startups, giving India boost in innovation
Saritha Rai
October 3, 2012

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In Your Phone, In Their Air

Demand is growing for lithium batteries, and pollution infiltrates Chinese villages with graphite factories
Peter Whoriskey
October 28, 2016

Hawaiian Seafood Caught by Foreign Crews Who Are Confined on Boats

US laws permit harsh conditions, low wages and crews of undocumented workers
Martha Mendoza and Margie Mason
September 16, 2016

Despite Fears, Mexico's Manufacturing Boom Lifts US Workers

US multinationals hire an extra 250 US workers for every 100 hired in Mexico
Natalie Kitroeff
September 2, 2016

Chronic Problems, Not Just Crises, Should Be a Global Health Priority

One report suggests that poor vision alone costs the global economy $3 trillion per year
James Chen
September 1, 2016

Two Faces of Global Trade

Globalization leads to both fierce competition that threatens jobs and innovation that creates them
Nayan Chanda
August 30, 2016

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