Movements of People and Employment

Movements of people and employment are interconnected: people need work and employers need workers; other factors also affect migration.

Population movements are increasing:

●  Companies are endlessly moving, as described in the previous section (3.4.2). They can grow or shrink, or they might need new skills.  These movements of jobs result in movements of people.

●  Climate change may lead to some forced migration, looking for land and jobs, as described later (3.5.7).

●  People sometimes become refugees, forced to move by threats to their safety: wars or oppression. Their numbers are typically smaller than those related to employment, as shown in a recent UK parliamentary report on asylum statistics: “In 2022, the latest period for which we have estimates, asylum seekers and refugees made up approximately 21% of immigrants to the UK”.  They are not allowed to work when they arrive, so initially they constitute a drain on the economy, but they increase the size of the available workforce when their asylum applications are approved.

●  Demographics will play a very big part in the movements of people and employment.  Population growth is fastest in the poorest countries.  Existing populations are ageing in rich European countries, whereas there is a predominance of young people in poorer African countries – as described, for example, in a Telegraph article entitled Mapped: The world’s most elderly (and youngest) countries.  The UN Population Division gives more details on its website.  There is a constant flow of people from poorer countries, seeking work in rich countries.

There are economic consequences at both ends of migration, as examined below: the impact of job losses and emigration (, and the impact of immigrants on the country that adopts them (



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/3431.htm.