Trade and Development Review, Vol 13, No 1 (2020)

The COVID-Induced Recession and the Migrant Labor

Saibal Kar


The COVID-induced recession has been responsible for exodus of unemployed unskilled immigrants from different regions to their origin in search of family and network support. The skilled migrant workers retained jobs and stayed at the destination, mostly. This paper shows that the migration of different skill types is a response to how regional economic prospects including provision of infrastructure have emerged in a country. The skilled workers do not return to the source despite recession owing to infrastructure deficiency. Pre-existing unemployment benefit scheme for the unskilled could have lowered the economic distress and further spread of the epidemic during economic lock down in a country like India. 

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