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.

Can Western Companies Put an End to Bangladesh Factory Disasters?

Low-cost goods can come from death traps
Pramila Jayapal
May 1, 2013

Beijing Is Booming; Talent Is Leaving Due to Bad Air

Swift environmental regulations could restore Beijing’s status
Peter Ford
April 29, 2013

US Senate Plans Crackdown on Visa “Abusers”

Some Indian IT outsourcing firms may have to adjust business model
Anna Fifield
April 24, 2013

What's in the Business-Labor Deal on Immigration?

With flexible W visas, workers could switch jobs and expect fair wages
Matthew Yglesias
April 5, 2013

College Grads May Be Stuck in Low-Skill Jobs

The trend pushes unskilled out of job market – and could influence politics
Ben Casselman
March 27, 2013