From "guest workers" to EU migrants: A gendered view on the labour market integration of different arrival cohorts in Germany
Keywords:immigration, integration, labor market, women, arrival cohorts, Germany
Objective: This paper draws on data from the Microcensus to provide a long-term overview of the labour market performance of different arrival cohorts of non-German women and men who immigrated to (western) Germany.
Background: While there is a large body of research on the labour market outcomes of migrants to Germany, a long-term and gender-specific overview is missing.
Method: We provide descriptive analyses of the employment rates, working hours, and occupational status levels of different arrival cohorts by gender, calendar year, and duration of stay. The data cover the time period 1976-2015.
Results: With the exception of the earliest cohort, migrant women and men were consistently less likely to be employed than their German counterparts. While the average working hours of migrant women of earlier cohorts were longer than those of German women, this pattern reversed due to a considerable decline in the average working hours of migrant women across subsequent cohorts. The occupational status levels of female and male migrants increased across the arrival cohorts, corresponding to higher levels of education. Analyses by duration of stay indicate that the occupational status of the arrival cohorts tended to decline during their initial years of residence, and to stagnate thereafter. This pattern seems to be due in part to selective outmigration.
Conclusion: Our results clearly show that the labour market performance of immigrants varied greatly by arrival cohort, reflecting the conditions and policy contexts during which they entered Germany. This conclusion applied especially to migrant women.
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