By Nigar Orujova
Labor migration from Azerbaijan is decreasing as the domestic market offers more opportunities to find jobs in the country.
A small percentage of those wishing to move indicates that the majority of candidates successfully found jobs in the country, and they consider working conditions as good to continue their work.
"There was a time when 40 percent of the able-bodied Azerbaijani population was labor migrants, who mainly went to Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine," head of Citizens Labor Rights Protection League Sahib Mammadov told the local press.
According to the State Statistics Committee, the migration numbers have decreased in Azerbaijan in recent years. Thus, a total of 137,900 people left the country for permanent residence in over 20 countries of the world -- mainly in the former Soviet countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia.
Most of Azerbaijanis are looking for jobs in the "near abroad", as they have more opportunities to find work in the former Soviet republics.
"Beside Russia, Azerbaijanis currently work in Turkey and some Arab countries where they are engaged in business or do other work. The work which they carry out in Russia is mainly associated with services and trade, as well as other infrastructure sectors. Moreover, some of the Azerbaijanis are entrepreneurs, mostly small ones, and sometimes medium ones.
"Earlier, intellectual work prevailed in Turkey, Azerbaijanis were working there as researchers or teachers in higher education institutions. Now the situation has changed a bit, with the economic growth and tightening labor migration laws by other states, less and less people are going to work in other countries. Nevertheless, Russia remains the main labor market for Azerbaijanis," Mammadov said.
Some 2.5 million Azerbaijanis live in Russia. However, Russia, which received some 10 million immigrants this year, continues to toughen its migration laws, penalizing illegal migrants.
The main flow of migration in Azerbaijan is from the villages to the city. A fifth of the migrants arrive in the capital Baku.
According to the Jobs.Day.az portal's survey, only 18 percent of respondents want to move abroad. 10 percent of them are men and 8 percent are women.
"The possibility of higher earnings in the spheres that are mostly advanced in foreign countries creates desire to move. ," Jobs.Day.az said.
Since the 1990s, the number of those who left has been decreasing; in 2000 the figure totaled 9,947 and in 2012 -- 226 people.
On the contrary, well-developed and developing sectors of the Azerbaijani economy as oil and construction sectors attract a great number of those who are looking to move to Azerbaijan from abroad.
Arrivals in the country in the last ten years varied from 1,257 people in 2002 to 3,597 in 2008 and 2,172 in 2012.
In July, the Azerbaijani parliament passed a new Migration Code, which went into effect from August. According to the State Migration Service, migrants will not encounter any difficulties after changes in the domestic legislation, which has many innovations and supplements.
Azerbaijan also has a quota for labor migrants, which was 11,900 in 2011 and reached 12,000 in 2012, which aims to provide Azerbaijani citizens with jobs.
The statistics shows that labor migrants mostly come to Azerbaijan from neighboring Turkey and Georgia. Azerbaijan with its developing construction sector has a high demand for workforce, unlike Europe with the lower scale of construction work.
The online newspaper is available at www.azernews.az.