Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement

Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement

Edited by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark and Siew-Ean Khoo

This book examines the role of immigration policy, and of economic and social policies involved in promoting the settlement of immigrants to Australia. It is based on research of two groups of recent immigrants who arrived six years apart during the 1990s holding a range of family reunion, skill and humanitarian visas.

Chapter 3: Finding Employment After Migration: How Long Does It Take?

Prem Jung Thapa and Tue Gørgens

Subjects: development studies, migration, economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, migration, public policy, urban and regional studies, migration


Prem Jung Thapa and Tue Gørgens INTRODUCTION Australia has one of the highest proportions of people born overseas among major developed countries,1 and so there is an enduring research interest in the process through which immigrants are assimilated into the Australian labour market. The key indicators of the labour market outcomes of migrants previously studied have been their participation in the labour force (Ackland and Williams 1992), current employment status and unemployment (Miller and Neo 1997, Thapa 2004), earnings and wage adjustments (Beggs and Chapman 1988), expected earnings profile with duration of residence (Miller and Neo 2003), the match between migrants’ jobs and their skills and qualifications (Evans and Kelley 1986), and occupational status (Borooah and Mangan 2002). But these previous studies, using mainly census data, provided only a static perspective on immigrant labour market outcomes. The research discussed in this chapter extends the traditional static focus by analysing the dynamics of migrants’ job search and the time they take to find their first job after arrival in Australia. It uses data from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA) that followed two different cohorts of recent migrants and focuses on a key measure of labour market success in a dynamic perspective – the time taken since arrival in Australia for migrants to be employed in their first job. Comparative analyses of the labour market outcomes of migrants can be either in reference to the native-born population, or to migrant groups themselves distinguished along several characteristics. Most Australian...

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