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International labour migration and the remittances it generates have long been an important source of employment and income for Pacific islanders, especially in times of adverse domestic shocks. Many low-skilled Pacific workers find seasonal employment in Australia and New Zealand, engaging primarily in agriculture sector jobs under the Seasonal Worker Programme and the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme. The Pacific diaspora, concentrated in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, is also an important source of remittances to the region.
Migrant workers from both groups have been affected by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this webinar, the impacts of the crisis on employment outcomes of Pacific migrant workers and remittances to Pacific island countries were explored. The speakers presented findings from a recent World Bank phone survey of Pacific seasonal workers and their employers, and from phone-based interviews of Pacific diaspora groups in Australia and New Zealand.
Dr Dung Doan is an Economist at the World Bank, focusing on jobs and labor market issues in the Pacific region.
Dr Kenia Parsons is a Social Protection and Jobs Specialist at the World Bank.
Dr Kirstie Petrou is a research associate with the Climate and Sustainability Research Group at Flinders University, and a consultant with the World Bank’s Social Protection and Jobs team.
Dr Matthew Dornan is a Senior Economist at the World Bank.