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Settling In: OECD Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2012

image of Settling In: OECD Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2012

This publication highlights how immigrants and their children are integrating into OECD societies, judging their progress against key indicators. Many areas are considered (material living conditions, health, education, labour market, civic engagement) as integration is a multi-dimensional issue. Measures of outcomes, as well as of progress made over the past decade, are presented in comparison with outcomes of a reference group (the population born in the country of residence). Three series of questions are addressed: 1) To what extent does the average performance of immigrants differ from that of the native-born?; 2) Can these differences be explained by structural effects (different distributions by age, educational level, etc.)?; 3) How has integration record evolved over the past decade?

An introductory chapter provides a detailed description of the populations under review (foreign-born persons and households, as well as native-born offspring of immigrants). The final chapter gives an overview on discrimination issues, as this is one possible source of persistent disadvantages of immigrants and their children.  

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Job characteristics

For job holders, several aspects of the job need to be considered in order to examine whether differences exist between foreign and native-born populations. Key aspects include job stability, number of hours worked, the match between qualifications and skills and the job held, pay, the prevalence of self-employment and of employment in the public sector. It is also important to examine the extent to which the recent economic crisis affected the differences in job characteristics between the two groups.Integration in the labour market, both in terms of job access and job quality and stability, is a process that occurs over time. Migrants’ duration of residence is therefore a key determinant of job characteristics, along with migrants’ socio-demographic characteristics, such as age and education level. Age also serves as a proxy for professional experience and is hence important both for job stability and quality. Likewise, educational attainment is obviously an important determinant in accessing higher skilled, better paid jobs. For those who obtained their highest diploma abroad, having their formal qualifications recognised in the host country can provide a positive signal to employers and contribute to reducing overqualification.In this chapter, job stability is measured in terms of contractual situation – temporary versus permanent employment (Indicator). The degree to which migrant labour is used in the labour market is first roughly approximated by the number of hours worked (Indicator). Second, matching between job level and individual qualification (Indicators) is introduced by a presentation of job skills (Indicators). The share of self-employment (Indicator) and that of employment in the public sector (Indicator) are examined. For a discussion on these indicators, refer to the section Measurement at the end of this chapter.

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