Migration Resource Centers: Data on Those Seeking Advice About Leaving Georgia

IOM collects data on those people who use their Migration Resource Centers. While the sample is certainly not representative of the population, it provides insights into those seeking advice about leaving the country in the areas where IOM operates resource centers. IOM conducted 384 interviews in its centers in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Gurjaani.

Some features of IOM’s statistics stand out. First, 58% of respondents are unemployed and looking for a job, while 26% are only employed part-time. Of those unemployed, 16% have been unemployed for more than 5 years and another 29% have been unemployed for over a year, showing a high degree of structural unemployment within the group of those looking to migrate. Interestingly, very few of the unemployed are officially registered.

What do potential migrants prefer to do abroad? The data shows a quite realistic understanding of opportunities for Georgian migrants. 30% would like to work as a caregiver, 8% in the restaurant/hotel industry, and 7% in the agrarian sector. 19% say they will take any job that they can find.

Migrants’ preferred countries of destination are not surprising, particularly given the current tensions between Russia and Georgia. The United States, Greece, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada and Ukraine top the list of places Georgian potential migrants would like to go. IOM’s data also supports network theories of migration. When asked why they want to go to their preferred country of destination, over half of respondents say it is because they have friends who can help them there.

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