This section examines the labor market situation of emigrants from the Americas in OECD destination countries that have available detailed information on emigrants by country of origin, including the United States and most European countries7. The countries included in the analysis account for more than 92% of all emigrants from the Americas in the OECD countries in 2005-20068.
Migrants choose where to go after evaluating the potential benefits and costs of moving and its feasibility in terms of access and possibility of permanence, based on the information they have. Perceived economic opportunities relative to those in the country of origin, distance to travel, and to a lesser degree language spoken, are all important factors influencing the choice of country of destination9. Information about economic opportunities is often passed on to countries of origin by established migrants, who play an important role in helping to connect potential migrants with employers. In particular, migrants from the Americas have been largely labor migrants, what is perceived in the favorable results of the employment generally registered before the economic crisis. The latter had a devastating effect on those results, especially in Spain, and there is a risk that the road to recovery will be long. This section examines recent developments in order to identify trends.
Before examining in more detail the labor market situation of migrants from the Americas in destination countries, and in particular after 2009, we first address some general geographic and demographic settlement patterns.