Purpose: To examine the employers’ preference for labour between migrants and natives in the in-migration context of Kerala and also to analyze whether there are any sector-wise differences in the employers’ preference.

Methodology: Multistage stratified random sampling technique was used to select the sample for the study. The sample constitutes 432 employers/owners belong to three sectors namely, construction, manufacturing, and restaurants were selected from three districts of Kerala.

Main Findings: Employers prefer migrant workers in the in-migration context as they are a better substitute when the majority of the factors are concerned. While working skills, work experience, health and risk in the employment of workers are concerned, either native were preferred or both the group of workers are preferred equally. The inter-sectoral analysis in the study also shows that in majority cases, there is a significant difference in the percentage distribution of employers across sectors according to their labour preference.

Implication: The research results could be used to frame government policies related to entrepreneurs and also, in-migrant workers and native workers and their employment and unemployment situations.

Novelty/Originality: The study is new and original because the previous studies discuss the in-migration in Kerala from the laborers’ perspective. This study shows the employers’ viewpoint. Also, the findings of this study are based on the field survey of 432 employers in three different sectors.


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