Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives
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Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives

Edited by Daniel Wheatley

The growing diversity of contemporary paid work has provoked increased interest in understanding and evaluating the quality of working lives. This Handbook provides critical reflections on recent research in the field, including examining the inextricable links between working life and well-being.
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Chapter 18: Use of quantitative and qualitative methods to research migrant workers in low-skilled work

Anne Green


Drawing on research undertaken for Regional Development Agencies, the UK Migration Advisory Committee and a sectoral body, this chapter outlines the opportunities and shortcomings for researching migrant workers in low-skilled sectors using quantitative methods. Particular focus is placed on use of the UK Labour Force Survey data at regional level to measure ‘migrant density’ in particular sectors. The advantage of this data source is that it places migrant workers in the context of other workers. However, there are concerns about the coverage of household surveys for sub-groups who are relatively young, geographically mobile and who are more likely than average to live in communal establishments. It highlights how complementing such data with bespoke survey evidence and qualitative insights from migrant workers, employers, other job seekers and local stakeholders can provide a more complete picture of migrants’ working lives and the factors shaping them.

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