Jobs are the lifeblood for national economies and family budgets. The search for economic opportunity often drives people to move around the globe. The most educated and highly skilled workers are in demand, and immigration policies often reflect that priority. Less skilled would-be immigrants, however, are often subject to tighter restrictions – even in nations where native citizens refuse to take on harvesting, construction, cleaning or other difficult tasks. Advanced technology reduces the need for labor; employers also rely on outsourcing, contract workers and the internet for digital work, including tax preparation, X-ray analysis or graphic design. Nations fiercely compete for jobs while multinational corporations reduce labor costs to increase profits.

A Shortage of Seasonal Workers Is Feared

Lawmakers divided on whether or not to increase visas for temporary foreign workers
Eduardo Porter
April 10, 2004

Outsourcing, Turned Inside Out

With foreign direct investment doubling, "insourcing" of jobs into the US is increasing as well
Ken Belson
April 11, 2004

Workers Without Borders

An open and fair system that encourages mobility could improve wages and conditions for all workers
Jennifer Gordon
March 12, 2009

Wait for US Residency Soars Over 18 Month Span

Immigrants: Stay home, it's not worth the wait
Nina Bernstein
April 6, 2004

A Tale of Two Cities

The wave of jobs heading offshore causes wrenching loss--and produces enticing gains
Kerry A. Dolan
March 29, 2004