Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement
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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.
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Chapter 4: Female Migrants’ Participation in the Australian Labour Market

Ahn Tram Le


Anh Tram Le INTRODUCTION The number of migrants entering Australia has been increasing steadily over time. For example, in 1999–2000 a total of 70,200 migrants arrived in Australia; this had increased to 108,070 by 2002–2003. In 2002–2003, 52 per cent of all settler arrivals in Australia were female (Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 2004). Female migrants’ adjustment and labour market outcomes in the host country have been widely researched (see, for example, Duleep and Sanders 1993, Baker and Benjamin 1997, Cobb-Clark and Connolly 2001, Cobb-Clark and Crossley 2004). Of particular interest to this chapter are the labour market outcomes of women who were not the primary decision-makers but had migrated as accompanying family members (referred to in this chapter as tied movers). The chapter compares, over time and across cohorts, the labour market supply of female migrants who are primary migrants and those are tied movers, using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA). The first part of the chapter involves within-cohort analysis of the differences in labour market participation between primary and tied movers over time. The aim is to determine the factors that contribute to the difference in labour market participation of primary and tied movers and to assess whether these factors can explain long-term labour market choices. The next section involves across-cohort analysis. The impact of changes in migration selection criteria in the late 1990s on female migrants’ labour market participation is examined. Of interest is whether the...

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