Trends, Patterns and Control
Edited by Heinz Fassmann, Max Haller and David Lane
12. Employment rates of return migrants: the Finnish case Jan Saarela and Fjalar Finnäs GENERAL BACKGROUND 12.1 In recent decades, return migration has emerged as a critical element of many a government’s migration policy (IOM 2006). Return migrants also constitute a large fraction of all people in the labour market. Approximate numbers for the USA state that at least 20 per cent of all legal immigrants subsequently return migrate, and for many European countries the proportion is even larger (Dustmann 1996, Constant and Massey 2003). A comprehensive picture of the employment situation of return migrants is still missing, however, because most countries have no population registers that allow researchers to distinguish people who have lived abroad. Data from Finland provides an exception in this context. The country has a register that covers the total population, in which each person can be observed in concurrent censuses. These population files can be linked to other existing registers, such as those containing labour force statistics. The present chapter makes use of this in order to identify return migrants and study their employment levels in relation to non-migrants. Similar to the way of treating employed immigrants in a host country as successfully integrated (Arowolo 2000, OECD 2001), we here regard persons who are employed in the home country subsequent to return migration as successfully reintegrated. Of specific interest is the question of how the employment rates interrelate with migration duration and duration subsequent to return migration. Finland is a country that has experienced...
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