Longitudinal database on immigrants

Arno Sprangers, Statistics Netherlands
Han Nicolaas, Statistics Netherlands

Since the end of the 1980s, international migration has been the most important source of population growth in countries of the European Union. Because of the increased importance of immigration, there is an also growing demand for detailed information on the integration of immigrants in society and, more specifically, their socio-economic position in the course of time. This presentation focuses on the labour market integration of non-Dutch immigrants in the Netherlands. Our longitudinal database on immigrants includes immigrants who arrived between 1990 and 2003. Information on the labour market position of these immigrants is available for the period 1999 - 2003. A distinction can be made between variables like age, sex, country of birth and the reason for the migration. Our analysis is based on three socioeconomic categories – people with a job, people depending on social benefits and others – in accordance with the main source of income in the year concerned. The results of the study show that, in the past few years, it has become more difficult for asylum migrants to find a job. About 30 percent of male migrants who arrived in the Netherlands in 1999 had a job in 2003. For asylum migrants who came to the country in 1995, 40 percent had a job four years later. The lower labour participation of more recent immigrants is related to the less favourable situation on the Dutch labour market. Family migrants and (especially) marriage migrants are more likely to find work than asylum migrants. In the long run, asylum migrants do make up some of this lost ground on the labour market compared with family migrants. The arrears on marriage migrants remain about the same size however. After a few years, more than 70 percent of male marriage migrants who came to the Netherlands in 1995 had a job.

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Presented in Session 18: Integration process of migrant population