Do foreign workers benefit the host country? (short)
In many countries, foreign labour is an important part of the economy. What are some of the benefits and disadvantages for the economy of having workers from outside the country?
In many countries such as the USA, Singapore and many Gulf countries, foreign workers make up a large part of the labour force. However, there is some debate about the advantages of this for the economy of the country. In this essay, I will look at some of the arguments in favour of foreign labour and discuss some of the negative effects it can have.
There are several advantages to foreign labour. First of all, foreign labour is almost always cheap. Workers and economic migrants are attracted to countries with strong economies because they gcan earn higher salaries than at home. This means that the host country can get a good supply of cheap labour and this will make it more competitive and increase profits. Second, foreign workers are already trained. There is no need to wait years to train them in college or on the job. This also saves a lot of money and means that projects can be completed rapidly. A third point is that foreign workers are prepared to do jobs that local people do not want to do, such as work in remote areas or do dangerous or dirty jobs. These often include jobs in construction or in jobs with anti-social hours such as hotels. All of these mean that companies can provide a wide range of services at lower costs.
However, there are also hidden costs to hiring foreign labour. First of all, foreign workers may not be loyal to a company. This means they may change job often or leave the country quickly if there is a problem, such as happened recently in Libya. Secondly, they may create a lack of employment opportunities among locals. Employers may not want to give locals high salaries if they can employ expatriates more cheaply. A third problem is that they lower wages for certain jobs. Jobs which are attractive in some countries such as construction become very lowly paid if they employ mostly foreign workers. These factors may cause serious problems and imbalances in the host economy, such as too many locals in the government or public sector. A further point is that some expatriate labour is not really cheap, since it may be less effective or their skills may not transfer well to the new country.
In conclusion, it’s a difficult balance between finding workers at the right price and developing a strong and diversified economy with good employment opportunities for all. Countries have to decide between protecting their own workforce and creating a competitive environment for business.