Do migrants get good jobs in Australia? The role of ethnic networks in job search

Stéphane Mahuteau, P. N Raja Junankar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to study how new migrants to Australia find ‘good jobs’. We use all the waves of the two cohorts of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA) to analyse whether a new migrant obtains a good job conditional on finding a job. The distinctive nature of this paper is to study the role of ethnic networks in job search and the quality of jobs that migrants find in the first few years of settlement. We define the concept of a ‘good job’ in terms of objective and subjective criteria. Our results suggest that there is an initial downward movement along the occupational ladder due to imperfect transferability of human capital from the source country to the recipient country, followed by an improvement.1 As a result of a tightening in access to social security benefits for the second cohort of the LSIA, we study whether this increases the probability that new migrants accept a ‘bad job’ quickly and then move onto better jobs over time. Our results provide some support to this view. However, accounting for their higher employability, new migrants seem to fare better up to 1.5 years after settlement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEconomics of immigration
Subtitle of host publicationimmigration and the Australian economy
EditorsP. N. (Raja) Junankar
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781137555250
ISBN (Print)9781349717163
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Reprinted from “Do Migrants Get Good Jobs in Australia? The Role of Ethnic
Networks in Job Search” by Stéphane Mahuteau and P. N. (Raja) Junankar in The
Economic Record, 84, September 2008, S115–S130.

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