Migrants workers of Bangladesh are earning 30% less than natives and the gap is widening, according to a study of the International Labour Organisation.
For male migrants, the pay is 24% less and for females, it is 34%. In some countries, the gap is as much as 42%.
The report said among lower middle-income countries, 62.4% of migrants are informally employed compared to 50.8% of natives.
Informal employment is higher among migrant women than men.
The report titled "The migrant pay gap: Understanding wage differences between migrants and nationals" was published on Monday. It said migrants earn less than similarly qualified nationals within the same occupational category.
It also said migrants earn 12.6% less per hour than nationals in high-income countries.
In low- and middle-income countries, migrants are usually temporary high-skilled expatriates. They tend to earn about 17.3% more per hour than non-migrants.
"Migrants often face inequality of treatment in the labour market, including with respect to wages, access to employment and training, conditions of work, social security, and trade union rights. They play a fundamental role in many economies. They cannot be considered second-class citizens," said Michelle Leighton, chief of the ILO Labour Migration Branch.
Female migrants face double discrimination
Female migrants face a double wage penalty, both as migrants and as women.
The pay gap between male nationals and migrant women in low- and middle-income countries is estimated at nearly 31%.
For Bangladeshi migrant women, the gap is 34%, which is 15 percentage point higher than the average in low- and middle-income countries.
Impact of pandemic
The pandemic has had a greater health and economic impact on migrant workers than on the rest of the working population. At the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, tens of millions of migrant workers were forced to return home after losing their jobs.
Their jobs are less amenable to teleworking compared to non-migrants and many of them are frontline workers who are more exposed to the virus.
The crisis – of which we do not yet have a complete picture – may widen the labour market differences between migrant workers and nationals, which may in turn further deepen migrant pay gaps, said the report.
The latest report covered 49 nations comprising 33 high income countries (HICs) and 16 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These countries host nearly half (49.4%) of all international migrants and roughly 33.8% of migrant workers worldwide.
The report is the first attempt to capture the migrant pay gap, including gender dimension at the global level.