Questions and answers about
the economy.

Migration and the labor market impacts of Covid-19

Labor migration is a fundamental component of household income for a large number of households in many parts of the world, especially in poorer and more rural areas. Migrant households are hardest hit by Covid-19 mitigation policies as social distancing makes this source of income unavailable. Migration linkages can lead to significant economic stress from Covid-19 even among populations where rates of infection are relatively low. There is a need for detailed geographic and sectoral policy analysis to identify migration-dependent households and areas to appropriately target COVID-related economic relief. Over the short-term, policies for workers prevented from migrating should facilitate integration into the local labor market by providing information and testing to verify health and reduce stigma. As the pandemic is contained, domestic policy should enable the safe return to work by providing testing to verify health and improving access to transportation, housing, and workplace protections that allow for adequate social distancing. Sending nations should track entry requirements at main international destinations and establish the infrastructure to allow international migrants to return to their place of work.

Lead investigator:

Nathan Barker


Yale University

Primary topic:

Jobs, work, pay & benefits

Secondary topic:

Families & households

Region of data collection:

Asia and Oceania

Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Phone survey

Unit of real-time data collection


End date