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Spain and Central America: Immigration II

Monday, June 11, 2012


With unemployment rates of more than 50% among Spaniards between the ages of 16 and 24, Central American employers seeking to hire additional personnel can expand their search to include Spain. While unemployment rates are lower for workers 25 and older, millions of experienced Spaniards are likewise looking for jobs.

Panama, which has a serious labor shortage, is paradoxically one of the strictest in restricting the right of foreigners to work, although Panamanian employers are lobbying the Martinelli government to help make them more competitive. Other countries in the region likewise have rules, which limit the hiring of foreign workers. But it is often possible to hire from outside the country, when the prospective employee has a special skill.

Long-distance hiring is not easy for most small firms. But the challenge is manageable for big companies, which normally use recruiting agencies, including those with world-wide operations.

Latin America in general, including the isthmus, was largely populated by immigrants from Spain, during the 19th Century. The 21st Century may see the second wave.