Occupational Mobility among the Gulf Return Migrants in Murshidabad District, West Bengal.

Snigdha Banerjee, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The present study focuses on the occupational mobility of the Gulf returnees. Data were collected from 3 blocks of Murshidabad district, India. 330 Gulf returnees were interviewed about their occupations in three periods of migration- emigration, during abroad, after returning. The percentage of unskilled workers was more in the pre-emigration phase. However, half of the respondents did menial works abroad. After return, the engagement in self-employment activities among the returnees has increased. The study revealed about one-third of returnees got upward movement, while the majority had no change in occupation. Returnees are more prone to invest in changing occupations after return only if they had saved a significant amount of money. Study shows that downward mobility and de-skilling are more common in returnees because of the temporariness of their movement, accepts unskilled jobs, and relatively short length of stay. Result suggests that age of the return migrants, educational qualification, duration of stay at abroad, types of returnees, a skill acquired etc. are significant predictors of occupational mobility among returnees. The return flow of migrants resulted in substantial changes in rural society. In most cases, it has either lead to self-employed or voluntary unemployment.

Keywords: International migration

See paper.

  Presented in Session 75. Social Ties, Family Reunification, and Housing Conditions among International Migrants