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The Labour Market Integration of Immigrants in Germany

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  • Thomas Liebig

Abstract

The current situation of the labour market integration of migrants in Germany has to be viewed in the light of its immigration history. During the post-war economic boom, until 1973, Germany focused on the recruitment of low-skilled foreign labour. Many of these “guestworker” immigrants settled and were joined by their foreign spouses, which has given rise to a second generation of persons with an immigrant background. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Germany received massive immigration flows of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe. Shortly after the peak immigration of ethnic Germans, Germany received large numbers of humanitarian migrants. German statistics only distinguish along nationality lines. This hampers assessment of the situation as this does not take account of ethnic Germans – who have German nationality and are now the most important immigrant group, although they face difficulties similar to those of other migrant groups. Assessment based on nationality is also problematic since immigrants with a foreign nationality have increasingly and selectively taken up German citizenship. There is a clear need for statistics based on the country of birth... Pour comprendre la situation actuelle en matière d’insertion des immigrés sur le marché du travail allemand, il convient de s’imprégner de l’histoire de l’immigration dans le pays. Pendant l’essor économique de l’après-guerre et jusqu’en 1973, l’Allemagne a privilégié le recrutement de main-d’oeuvre étrangère faiblement qualifiée. Un grand nombre de ces « travailleurs invités » se sont installés et ont été rejoints par leur conjoint étranger, ce qui a donné naissance à une deuxième génération d’immigrés. A la fin des années 80 et au début des années 90, l’Allemagne a accueilli des flux massifs d’Allemands de souche provenant d’Europe orientale. Peu après la crête de cette vague d’immigration, le pays a reçu de très nombreux migrants pour raisons humanitaires. Les statistiques allemandes établissent des distinctions uniquement en fonction de la nationalité, ce qui gêne pour évaluer la situation. En effet, elles ne tiennent pas compte des Allemands de souche, qui possèdent la nationalité allemande et constituent aujourd’hui le groupe d’immigrés le plus important, alors qu’ils se heurtent à des difficultés analogues à celles rencontrées par d’autres groupes de migrants. La difficulté d’évaluation que crée cette distinction sur la base de la nationalité se trouve renforcée par le fait que les immigrés qui n’étaient pas de souche allemande ont été de plus en plus nombreux à obtenir leur naturalisation à l’issue d’un processus sélectif. Nous aurions manifestement besoin de statistiques fondées sur le pays de naissance...

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers with number 47.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:47-en

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Huber & Klaus Nowotny & Julia Bock-Schappelwein, 2010. "Qualification Structure, Over- and Underqualification of the Foreign Born in Austria and the EU," FIW Research Reports series II-008, FIW.
  2. Regina Flake, 2012. "Multigenerational Living Arrangements among Migrants," Ruhr Economic Papers 0366, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  3. Constant, Amelie F. & Kahanec, Martin & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Ethnicity, Job Search and Labor Market Reintegration of the Unemployed," IZA Discussion Papers 4660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2009. "Right-Wing Extremism and the Well-Being of Immigrants," CESifo Working Paper Series 2841, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Walter, Thomas & Butschek, Sebastian, 2013. "What Active Labour Market Programmes Work for Immigrants in Europe?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79745, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. Butschek, Sebastian & Walter, Thomas, 2013. "What active labour market programmes work for immigrants in Europe? A meta-analysis of the evaluation literature," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-056, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Höhne, Jutta & Koopmans, Ruud, 2010. "Host-country cultural capital and labour market trajectories of migrants in Germany: The impact of host-country orientation and migrant-specific human and social capital on labour market transitions," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Migration, Integration, Transnationalization SP IV 2010-701, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  8. Anja Köbrich León, 2013. "Does Cultural Heritage Affect Employment Decisions: Empirical Evidence for First- and Second Generation Immigrants in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 553, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  9. Hamori, Szilvia, 2009. "Employment convergence of immigrants in the EU: Differences across genders, regions of origin and destination," HWWI Research Papers 3-20, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  10. David Coleman, 2009. "Migration and its consequences in 21st century Europe," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 7(1), pages 1-18.
  11. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila, 2013. "Do immigrants follow their home country's fertility norms?," IWQW Discussion Paper Series 04/2013, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW).
  12. Anja Koebrich Leon, 2013. "Does Cultural Heritage affect Employment decisions – Empirical Evidence for Second Generation Immigrants in Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 270, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  13. El-Cherkeh, Tanja & Tolciu, Andreia, 2009. "Migrant entrepreneurs in Germany: Which role do they play?," HWWI Policy Papers 3-8, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  14. Schneider, Jan & Fischer, Michael & Kovacheva, Vesela, 2008. "Migrants in the job centre: Qualitative findings on migrants' experiences with public employment support services in Germany," HWWI Research Papers 3-16, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

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