International Migration of Highly Skilled Workers: Methodological and Public Policy Issues
Jeanne Batalova, University of California, Irvine and Migration Policy Institute
In the world of competitive, fast-moving, internationally oriented business, employers rely on highly educated and skilled workers to meet the challenges of a global economy. But who are those highly skilled workers whose skills and qualifications are in such a great demand in the US, Canada, Australia, and EU countries? In this paper we address two issues. First, we will discuss problems with definition and empirical identification of skilled workforce by examining different ways used in research and immigration policies to operationalize ‘highly skilled.’ And second, by employing the U.S. Census 2000 data, we will describe the skilled immigrant labor force in terms of their demographic and socio-economic characteristics. In conclusion, we discuss implications of international migration of skilled workers for education, science, and labor policies.