The volume of labor migration in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Relevance of the issue.
The Republic of Kazakhstan (RK) in the 2000s became the regional center for the reception of labor migrants from other countries – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. This is due to differences in the dynamics of economic growth and the demographic potential of the countries of Central Asia and Kazakhstan, the imbalance in supply and demand in the regional labor market. The formation of the Common Economic Space of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia also contributed to the growth of the number of labor migrants.
Against this background, both regulated and unregulated migration flows were formed. The identification of a real number of labor migrants is a complex issue due to the reluctance of a significant number of migrants to register their work activities. So, according to the statistical portal of the EIS “Berkut” [1], during the eight months of 2013 4 million foreigners arrived in the country, of which 636,000 were registered in the internal affairs bodies, of which only 26 thousand had a goal to settle to work.
The question of identifying the real size of labor migration is of fundamental importance for the development of an adequate employment policy in a country that can not ignore unaccounted flows of unregulated labor migration. To determine the real size of labor migration, an approach based on taking into account the remittances of labor migrants to the countries of origin, which was first considered by the Eurasian Development Bank [2], can be used.
World trends.
In the world, the role of remittances of migrant labor migrants abroad is constantly growing. Often, these transfers are the second most important financial flow in developing countries after foreign direct investment and almost twice the amount that these states receive through official channels in the form of assistance [3].
The World Bank estimates [4] that remittances to developing countries in Europe and Central Asia increased by 10.8% in 2013 to reach $ 42.6 billion. The top 20 recipient countries account for about 70% of their global volume.
According to updated estimates, in 2013 the list of countries receiving the largest volume of remittances of migrants was again headed by India (71 billion dollars) and China (60 billion dollars), followed by other developing countries with a significant gap: The Philippines – 26 billion, Mexico – 22, Nigeria – 21 and Egypt – 21 billion dollars (Figure 1).
Ukraine remains the largest recipient of remittances in the Europe and Central Asia region, but they make up only 4.8% of the country’s GDP. Meanwhile, in Tajikistan, money transfers of migrants make up 48% of GDP, in the Kyrgyz Republic – 31%, in Moldova – 24.5% of GDP [4].
Kazakhstan: labor immigration and money transfers.
The bulk of migrants are concentrated in agriculture, construction and services. The attraction of unregulated labor migration to the country is primarily due to the low cost of services provided by migrants, the lack of social packages and other conditions [6].
In the statistics of the external sector, there are articles in the structure of the balance of payments that can characterize the cash flows created by labor immigrants in Kazakhstan – “Remuneration of employees of non-residents” and “Personal transfers” transferred abroad. Moreover, the first indicator characterizes legal labor migration, which is related to the labor activity of foreign labor force, involved in permits (registered labor migration). The second indicator indirectly indicates the presence of immigrants in the country who receive income from illegal labor activities and transfer some of them to their families in the countries of origin (unregistered labor migration).
In Fig. 2 shows the dynamics of these indicators for 2005-2013. As we can see, the volume of remuneration of non-residents increased rapidly in 2005-2008: the annual flow increased twice. In connection with the consequences of the global financial crisis in 2009-2010. a slight decrease was noted, but from 2011 to 2012 there is again a positive growth in the wages of non-residents.
On personal transfers in 2005-2007. there was a strong increase in the annual flow (2.6 times) to almost $ 3 billion a year. Then, by 2010, the flow of personal transfers had dropped to $ 1.6 billion a year. In 2011-2013 years. there is a gradual increase in this indicator to almost $ 2 billion a year.
According to the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan [7], money transfers of individuals were directed mainly to residents of such countries as the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and account for about 60% of total remittances from Kazakhstan (Figure 3) .
From 2009 to 2013, remittances of individuals from Kazakhstan to all countries increased by 21.5% from 1.6 to 1.9 billion dollars. For the analyzed group of countries, this indicator increased by 26%: from 1 to 1.3 billion dollars, that is, for these countries, the growth of transfers is ahead of schedule.
Existing methods of accounting for illegal migration.
where P and P 0 – the population identified in two consecutive population censuses; (N – M) – natural increase in population; (I – E) – net migration or migration balance.
Thus, adding the number of births (N) and immigrants (I) to the number of citizens registered at time “0”, and subtracting the deceased (M) and emigrated (E), whose number is reflected in the official databases, we must obtain number P. However, as a rule, the calculated and actual values differ by some value of X, which is assumed to be equal to the net value of illegal migrants during the period between censuses.
The method based on a simple comparison of registries is to compare the population census data with the data on residence permits, information from migration services and the results of regular surveys of the population or certain groups, for example, foreign students.
The method of residual numbers used in the US is based on the fact that the total number of immigrants includes both illegal and legal immigrants. Thus, subtracting from the total number of legally resident foreigners, it is possible to obtain an approximate number of migrants who are in an illegal situation.
where R is the number of illegal migrants; FB (Foreign-born population) – the total number of foreign citizens identified during the census; L (Legal immigrants) – number of legal migrants; M (Mortality) – estimated number of dead legal migrants (it should be emphasized that according to the American legislation any person born in the United States is recognized as a citizen of the country, regardless of the citizenship of his parents); E (Emigration) – the number of emigrated legal migrants; T (Temporary) – the number of temporary legal migrants (this group mainly includes students and workers who have received a temporary residence permit).
In the expected population method, the demographic balance equation is used, but not in a completely standard way. The essence of the method is to compare the estimates of the number of emigrants from the country, with official data on the number of emigrants living at the time of observation on the territory of other states, which allows us to identify the number of illegal migrants in the status abroad.
The basis of the sex ratio method is the assumption that most of the illegal migrants are men. The main indicator used to calculate illegal aliens is the number of men per 100 women, or the so-called sex-ratio. Comparing the actual ratio of the number of men and women found in the population census in the country of origin of migrants with the theoretical proportion calculated for it and for the host country, it becomes possible to obtain an estimate of the expected number of illegal migrants [8].
As can be seen from this survey, the identification of the number of illegal migrants requires periodic surveys and censuses. Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan the census is conducted once in ten years, which does not allow to give an operative estimate of the number of illegal migrants.
Approaches to the quantitative estimation of the number of labor migrants in Kazakhstan and information and statistical support for calculations.
To indirectly estimate the real number of labor migrants, this work uses approaches based on taking into account the volume of remittances of individuals from Kazakhstan to the countries of exodus of labor migrants.
For the calculations, the following countries were selected: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Russia, since the number of immigrants from these countries is predominant. Thus, the share of immigrants from Uzbekistan in the total number of migrants to Kazakhstan is 52%; Russia – 17.8; China – 8.7; Kyrgyzstan – 6; Of Tajikistan – 1% [9]. In Table. 1 presents data on remittances for 2009-2013.
The amount of remittances by country from 2009 to 2013, million dollars.
When calculating the number of migrant workers, the average monthly wage in Kazakhstan was taken into account (Table 2).
Average monthly salary from 2009 to 2013
Average monthly salary, tenge.
Exchange rate, tenge / USD.
Average monthly salary, USD.
Salary for the year, USD.
Within the framework of this approach, the following assumptions are made when calculating the number of labor migrants:
About a tenth of remittances to China and Russia are represented by irregular one-time payments, not related to the remuneration of labor of migrants – these are transfers of households and private entrepreneurs. In this case, the volume of remittances of labor migrants to these countries will be reduced by 10% compared to the total amount of transfers. Labor migrants send home about 44% of their income. This average is obtained from the results of World Bank studies (migrants transfer 48% of their earnings to their families [10]) and the Citizens Employment Center under the Ministry of Youth, Labor and Employment of the Kyrgyz Republic (remittances account for more than 40% of the migrant’s income [11]). . The estimation of the number of labor migrants is conducted in three variants, taking into account the assumptions about the size of their average monthly salary. The first option: the wages of migrants from the countries in question will be the same as in the RK. The second option: migrants from Russia and China will have a salary equal to the average monthly salary in the RK, and migrants from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan – half as much. The third option: migrants from Russia and China will have a salary twice as big as in the RK, and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan – half as much. The estimation of the number of labor migrants is based on two scenario assumptions: labor migrants either pay taxes to the budget of the Republic of Kazakhstan at a tax rate of 20%, provided for in Articles 154-1, 192, 194 and 201 of the Tax Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan [12] (scenario 1) or do not pay ( scenario 2). It is assumed that 30% of migrant workers from Central Asia, due to geographical proximity, do not use the money transfer system, since there are informal channels for transferring money: you can bring money with you or transfer it through acquaintances. Accordingly, the assessment of the number of labor migrants will change in the direction of increase.
Taking into account the above assumptions, an estimated calculation of the number of labor migrants from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Russia is carried out in the following sequence.
For scenario 1 (migrants pay taxes) – according to the formula:
where � �� – number of labor migrants; DP – the volume of remittances from Kazakhstan to the countries of origin; SZP – the size of the average monthly wage; M is the number of months in a year; K D – the proportion of funds sent in the remuneration of labor of migrants; T is the tax rate.
Depending on the wages of migrants, there are three options for assessing their numbers (Table 3).
Number of labor migrants using the money transfer system in the Republic of Kazakhstan by country, people. (scenario 1, according to the options) *
* Here and in the following tables – the authors’ calculations.
Taking into account 30% of labor migrants from the countries of Central Asia that do not use the money transfer system to send their income to the countries of origin, the estimate of the number of labor migrants will increase (Table 4).
Estimation of the number of labor migrants in the Republic of Kazakhstan by country, taking into account migrants who do not use the money transfer system, persons. (scenario 1, according to the options)
Analyzing the data obtained from 2009 to 2013, it can be concluded that in 2009 the number of labor migrants in the territory of Kazakhstan was maximum, and in all three variants. Then comes the decline until 2012, and in 2013 the number of migrant workers increased compared to 2012.
For scenario 2 (migrants do not pay taxes) the calculation is carried out according to the formula:
Here are the estimates under scenario 2 (Table 5), when labor migrants do not make tax payments to the country’s budget.
Estimation of the number of labor migrants using the money transfer system in the Republic of Kazakhstan by country, people. (scenario 2, according to the options)
Having carried out the calculation taking into account 30% of migrants from the countries of Central Asia that do not use the money transfer system, we obtain the following result (Table 6).
Estimating the number of labor migrants in the Republic of Kazakhstan by country, taking into account migrants who do not use the money transfer system, (scenario 2, according to the options)
In the second scenario, there is a similar dynamics of the number of labor migrants: in 2009, in Kazakhstan (according to the statistics of the National Bank on the remittances of individuals by country), the peak of the number of labor migrants was detected.
As the performed calculations showed, with various assumptions and assumptions, the volume of labor migration to Kazakhstan is almost an order of magnitude greater than its size according to official statistics.
The presence of unregistered external labor migration in Kazakhstan is a serious dumping factor in the domestic labor market, distorts the concept of the labor market situation (market capacity, supply of labor, its mobility). In order to reduce the scale of unregistered labor migration to the Republic of Kazakhstan, it is necessary to strengthen measures to legalize labor migrants by simplifying the procedures for issuing permits to attract foreign labor, by reducing administrative barriers for registration at the place of residence of migrant workers, encouraging transparency of business migration as a form of labor migration .
It is necessary to develop systematic policy measures for labor migrants that will allow monitoring of the domestic labor market and the movement of foreign workers on it, assess the influx, outflow and transit of migrant workers in Kazakhstan, protect their rights, improve their working and living conditions, and also hamper the expansion of the informal sector of the economy.