African Immigrant Workers in Spanish Agriculture (Working Paper #2)
Keith Hogart, King’s College London
Cristóbal Mendoza, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte
Summary: The objective of this paper is to go beyond such statistical counts by examining the reasons why African immigrants are being employed in Spanish farming. 1 Underlying this concern is recognition of an essential difference between earlier mass immigration into north-central Europe and current inflows into southern Europe. Principally this difference emerges because immigration into southern Europe has occurred at a time of economic weakness and high unemployment. As Kindleberger (1967) indicates, an essential factor in economic growth in north-central Europe after 1945 was a substantial increment in non-agricultural employment. In so far as this helped limit wage inflation, immigration played a key role in promoting economic growth. The idea that employment growth is outstripping local labour supplies clearly bears little resemblance to the situation in southern European economies today (e.g. examine comparative employment performance indicators in Commission of the European Communities, annual).