Shrinking job markets in the world's top economies caused a decline in labour migration for the second consecutive year in 2009 after a decade of growth, an OECD report said Tuesday.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said the influx of workers into its 34 member states dropped seven percent in 2009 and looked set to decline further in 2010.
According to the Paris-based organisation's 2011 International Migration Outlook, migration to OECD countries fell from 4.5 million people in 2008 to 4.3 million in 2009.
The downturn in labour immigration was most marked in the OECD's Asian countries -- Japan and South Korea -- and in several European countries, notably the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy and Spain.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria predicted however that the trend would change again as soon as the world recovers from the 2008 financial crisis that rattled the global economy.
"Demand for labour migration will pick up again," he said in a statement. "Globalisation and ageing populations make that a certainty."
The report does not include data from 2011, which has seen a debt crisis in the eurozone bring several economies to the brink of collapse.
According to the OECD, migration from China accounts for nine percent of all migration inflows, followed by Romania at five percent.
The report by the OECD, which was founded in 1961 in a bid to stimulate economic progress and trade, issued a raft of recommendations.
It stressed that member countries needed to develop cooperation with origin countries in order to encourage legal labour inflows over illegal migration, as well as facilitate integration and naturalisation.
"Governments must do more to develop legal labour migration channels and foster better use of immigrants’ skills," Gurria said.