Harder for asylum migrants to find work

23/08/2005 14:00

It has become more difficult for asylum migrants to find a job. About 30 percent of male migrants who arrived in the Netherlands in 1999 had a job in 2003. For asylum migrants who came to the country in 1995, 40 percent had a job four years later. 

Labour market dip also affects asylum migrants

The lower labour participation of more recent immigrants is related to the less favourable situation on the Dutch labour market. Asylum migrants who have been living in the Netherlands for a longer period have also been finding it more difficult to get work in recent years. In 2003 more than half of male and one-third of female asylum migrants who arrived in 1995 had a job. These percentages have been fairly constant since 2000. 

 Asylum migrants with job or benefit after four years

Asylum migrants with job or benefit after four years

Fewer migrants depend on a benefit

Dependence on social benefits shows a more favourable picture for recent asylum migrants than for those who have been living here for a longer time. Nearly 35 percent of male migrants who arrived in the Netherlands in 1995 were claiming benefit, mostly income support, four years later. For asylum migrants arriving in 1999, 30 percent had a benefit four years later. This might have been the result of asylumseekers being granted a different status.

Family migrants better off on labour market

Family migrants and (especially) marriage migrants are more likely to find work than asylum migrants. This is partly because asylum procedures take such a long time to be completed and because asylum seekers may only work under strict conditions before they have a residence permit. Until 1998, they were not allowed to work at all.

Male immigrants with a job, year of arrival 1995

Male immigrants with a job, year of arrival 1995

Asylum migrants catch up in the long run

In the long run, asylum migrants do make up some of this lost ground on the labour market compared with family migrants. The arrears on marriage migrants remain about the same size however. After a few years, more than 70 percent of male marriage migrants who came to the Netherlands in 1995 had a job.

Female immigrants with a job, year of arrival 1995

Female immigrants with a job, year of arrival 1995

Arno Sprangers and Han Nicolaas