Return Migrants in the Hungarian Labour Market

Irén Gödri , Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

Working abroad or emigration from Hungary started to increase after 2007, and the process accelerated from 2011, after opening the German and Austrian labour market. The spread of the outflow resulted later an increasing number of return migrants. According to Hungarian administrative data the number of returnees was around 1500 in 2010, it already exceeded 9000 in 2013 and was over 24 000 in 2018. Based on the 2016 micro-census the share of returnees was 2.6% in the total population, with 3.2% among the 16-64-year-old age group. However, we have relatively limited empirical data about their labour market situation after return. The results of the relevant international literature are controversial: some studies revealed higher inactivity and unemployment rate among returnees, however, according to others, differences disappear one year after the return; returnees become self-employed more probably, and their wages are higher. The paper investigates the labour market situation of returnees in Hungary, by using the 2016 micro-census data. We compare the economic activity, form of employment and occupational groups of returnees with long-term (at least one year) and short term (less than one year) migration experience with the total population. Besides the individual socio-demographic characteristics (sex, age, educational attainment etc.), we take into account the differences according to age at the time of emigration, the length of time spent abroad, labour market experiences abroad, the destination country, time of return, time since the return and motivations of return. Based on multivariable analysis, we present the determinants of returnees’ labour market (re)integration.

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 Presented in Session 69. Multi-Sited Approaches of Migration