Official statistics for external net migration rate and labour migrants have been distorted by poor migration accounting, while political considerations have deterred some academic institutions from taking a more critical approach. Officially Belarus' net migration since independence has been positive, but alternative studies beg to differ. External migration is negative in demographic terms in quantitative but also in qualitative terms as emigrants are, on average, younger and better educated, while immigrants are less-skilled, with a larger proportion of people past working age. Lower wages compared to other countries of the region, inadequate social protection provided for the unemployed and poorly functioning labour market with a limited availability of jobs have encouraged temporary labour migration. This migration is typically directed toward neighbouring Russia. Economic impact contributes to the deficit in some sectors (e.g., construction, trasnportation) due to the labour migration to Russia. But it also eases unemployment and provides remittances from the migrants to their communities.
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