Migrants and employment - Challenging the success story

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Sociology, 2004, 40 (3), pp. 237 - 259
Issue Date:
2004-12-01
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The Australian government claims that its emphasis on skills in the migration program has paid off, with recent migrants achieving superior labour market outcomes to previous cohorts, and contributing more to the 'productive diversity' of the Australian workforce. Such sentiments are supported by most contemporary scholars of migration. Their conclusions stem from the adoption of a human capital approach where migrants' labour market outcomes are seen to directly reflect their individual skills and other attributes, as opposed to social and institutional practices such as discrimination or exclusion. In this article we subject the prevailing 'success story' about skilled migration to scrutiny, and point to alternative ways of interpreting the empirical evidence (namely, longitudinal survey data) as well as alternative ways of explaining the incorporation of migrants in the Australian workforce. © 2004 The Australian Sociological Association.
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