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.

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

Beyond Factory Floor: China’s Plan to Nurture Talent

Determined to hone innovation, China reforms education, invests in talent incubators
Xu Liyan, Qiu Jing
September 10, 2012

Promises Trump Can’t Keep

To fulfill job promises, Trump must curtail automation and productivity
Nayan Chanda
November 28, 2016

How Can We Tackle Abuse in the Global Garment Industry?

Unions strive to increase minimum wage and improve working conditions
Alice Evans
November 24, 2016

China's Shrinking Workforce Affects Economic Transition, Expert Says

Size of China’s workforce declines for three straight years, and could delay shift to service economy
Coco Feng
November 23, 2016

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