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Immigrants in the British labour market

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Author Info

  • Christian Dustmann

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Francesca Fabbri

Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to provide a comprehensive description of the economic outcomes and performance of Britain's immigrant communities today and over the last two decades. We distinguish between males and females and, where possible and meaningful, between immigrants of different origins. Our comparison group is white British-born individuals. Our data source is the British Labour Force Survey. We first provide descriptive information on the composition of immigrants in Britain, and how this has changed over time, their socio-economic characteristics, their industry allocation and their labour market outcomes. We then investigate various labour market performance indicators (labour force participation, employment, wages and self-employment) for immigrants of different origins, and compare them with British-born whites of the same age, region and other background characteristics. We find that over the last 20 years, Britain's immigrant population has changed in origin composition and has dramatically improved in skill composition — not dissimilar from the trend in the British-born population. We find substantial differences in economic outcomes between white and ethnic minority immigrants. Within these groups, immigrants of different origins differ considerably with respect to their education and age structure, their regional distribution and their sector choice. In general, white immigrants are more successful in Britain, although there are differences between groups of different origins. The investigation shows that immigrants from some ethnic minority groups, and in particular females, are particularly disadvantaged, with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis at the lower end of this scale.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 26 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 423-470

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:26:y:2005:i:4:p:423-470

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  1. Bell, Brian D, 1997. "The Performance of Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Evidence from the GHS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 333-44, March.
  2. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  3. George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars, 1988. "Consumer Discrimination and Self-Employment," NBER Working Papers 2627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blackaby, David H, et al, 1997. "A Picture of Male and Female Unemployment among Britain's Ethnic Minorities," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(2), pages 182-97, May.
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