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The labour market integration of immigrants in Australia

14 Mar 2007

The labour market integration of immigrants in Australia is shaped by the country’s long tradition as an immigration country and its selection policy. Over the post-war period, the main origin countries of immigration to Australia have shifted from English-speaking countries to other OECD countries, and, since the mid-1970s, to non-OECD countries. Parallel to this shift, immigration policy to Australia became increasingly skills focused, which has partly countered the less favourable employment outcomes of migrants from these countries. This increasing selection has resulted in a situation in which the skills structure of the immigrant population, particularly of those from non-OECD countries, is well above that of the native-born.

Overall, the labour market integration of immigrant men in Australia can be considered to be relatively favourable in international comparison. But the labour force participation of immigrant women is not high in international comparison. The outcomes of the children of migrants are very favourable in international comparison. This does not only appear to be attributable to the skilled nature of the immigrant intake, but also to the settlement and integration perspective given to all non-temporary immigrants.

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