The Occupational Attainment of Immigrant Groups in Australia

James Forrest*, Ron Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    It is commonly assumed that immigrants are disadvantaged in the Australian labour market because of a variety of interacting factors, some related to their skills, some to cultural differences between them and the host society, and some to the time it takes to adjust to their new circumstances. Using specially-prepared cross tabulations from the 1996 Australian Census, this article evaluates the assumption for the country's 52 largest immigrant groups, as defined by birthplace. Separate analyses for male and female immigrants relate their concentration in ten occupational groups, including unemployment, to their educational qualifications, facility with the English language, and period of arrival. The analyses suggest that the first two variables are particularly relevant to appreciating the occupational distribution of male immigrants, with period of arrival also being important for females, probably reflecting different cultural norms from their host society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-296
    Number of pages28
    JournalInternational Migration
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


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