Countries which import skilled workers

Canada may have the most skilled worker – oriented immigration system of all large countries. It uses a point system.  66% of foreign born persons have more than a high school degree. Australia, also with a point system, has 54%. the U.S. has 40%; Germany, 255: and Italy, 15%.

The United States’ system is so fragmented into dozens of entry points each with loopholes that is it hard to say how many of the roughly one million green cards awarded a year are for persons with strong work skills, but 20% or less might be a rough estimate.

A major problem with a formal skills-based system: the United States needs many workers without strong formal skills.  They will be paid less. And, yes, they will need – like some 20 million American citizens who work at the bottom 25% of the wage scale – some forms of public assistance at some time.

2 thoughts on “Countries which import skilled workers”

  1. I have some trouble with the use of the term “skilled worker” which is generally tied to education level and past work experience. In the U.S., farmworkers are generally not classed as “skilled” using the standard definition. But if one were to actually observe farmworkers harvesting various crops they would soon find that there are “skills” needed to harvest most crops and those skills vary by crop. Many people like myself with an MBA would not have the skills of the farmworkers I know. I am thankful every time I eat that mostly immigrant farmworkers are applying their skills at the front end of the supply chain – if I was relying on anyone like myself to do that we would starve to death.

  2. Patrick, i agree with your assessment. I usually try to use the term, “high formal education” to distinquish those who economists call “skilled.” Thanks for the comment.

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