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Labour market integration of the population of foreign origin

  • T. De Keyser

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Ph. Delhez

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • H. Zimmer

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

Registered author(s):

    The difficulties concerning integration into the labour market of people of foreign origin are of crucial importance in Belgium, especially as immigrants represent 14 % of the resident population, one of the largest proportions in the EU. While the employment rate of European immigrants is close to that for persons born in Belgium, the figure for immigrants from outside the EU is lower than in any other EU country : under half were working in 2011. The analysis reveals that the fact of being born in another country, especially outside the EU, has a negative influence on the likelihood of having a job, even taking account of other socio-demographic variables such as age, gender and maximum level of educational attainment. Fluency in the language of the country of residence, the place where a person’s qualifications were obtained, and the social network can probably explain some of the impediments to integration into employment. The fact that the direct descendants of immigrants still have a relatively low employment rate raises a number of other questions concerning, among others, the inequalities in the Belgian education system and discrimination in recruitment. The labour force surveys also show that when people of foreign origin do find a job, its characteristics are different from those of jobs held by native Belgians. Immigrants and their direct descendants are under-represented in public administration and teaching, and are proportionately more numerous in certain branches considered to be less secure. Immigrants might be more often obliged to accept temporary contracts and involuntary part-time work.

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    File URL: http://www.nbb.be/doc/oc/repec/ecrart/ecorevIII2012_H2.pdf
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    Article provided by National Bank of Belgium in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (2012)
    Issue (Month): III (December)
    Pages: 25-43

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    Handle: RePEc:nbb:ecrart:y:2012:m:december:i:iii:p:25-43
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