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Do Migrants succeed in the Australian Labour Market? Furher Evidence on Job Quality

Mahuteau, Stephane and Junankar, Pramod (2007): Do Migrants succeed in the Australian Labour Market? Furher Evidence on Job Quality.

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While the Coalition Government was in power in Australia from 1996 to 2007, new immigrants have had to face tougher selection criteria and increased financial pressure. Most studies so far have overlooked the issue of the quality of the jobs obtained by new immigrants to Australia and whether the policy change has contributed to improve or worsen job quality among immigrants and their ability to move upward. Job quality is thought to be related to the channels of information used by immigrants in their job search. Some studies suggest that jobs found via networks of same origin migrants are of lower quality. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we investigate the effect of time since settlement on the ability of migrants to better their labour market outcomes. Second, we quantify the relationships between job quality and migrants’ job search methods and test whether they were affected by the policy changes. Using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA), we estimate the probabilities for immigrants to find “good jobs”, controlling for their initial employability upon arrival in Australia. We test several models involving various definitions of “good job”, from objective conditions, based on the nature and status of the occupation, to more subjective conditions based on job satisfaction. We show that the sole effect of being a second cohort migrant is beneficial for the probability to both find a job and a “good job” within the first year and half after settlement. After this time, cohort two migrants who still have not found a good job experience more difficulty to improve. Moreover, informal channels of information on job prospects have been slightly more efficient in enabling second cohort migrants to find good jobs, even though they still provide individuals with a disadvantage compared to formal channels.

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