Reports 2016/06

Study of labour mobility showing employment and migration among immigrants

This publication is in Norwegian only.

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The purpose of this report is to examine how employment among immigrants, persons born in Norway of immigrant parents and the remaining population has evolved in the new millennium up to 2013. Furthermore, we investigate and estimate how net and gross migration flows in Norway is related to both net and gross changes in the regional employment totally, and among immigrants in particular, in the same period. Finally, we examine whether immigrants who relocate are changing their labor market status more than those who do not move.

There has been a strong increase in the proportion of immigrants in the employment, especially labor-immigrants. Simultaneously, it takes place a reallocation of employment where immigrants to some extent replace non-immigrants, but also previously employed immigrants.

Immigrants also account for a growing proportion of the gross flows in the labor market, especially to employment, but also gradually out of employment, especially among labor-immigrants.

While immigrants who are already registered as residents in Norway collectively account for the largest gross flows of immigrants to and from employment, the net supply of labor has been largest through net immigration.

Most registered settled immigrants who leave a job also have a tendency to leave the labor force. This is a bit surprising, since some of them can be expected to be entitled to unemployment benefits if they turned to unemployment. The net supply of labor immigrants decline towards the end of the investigation period 2000-2013, but increase slightly among family- and education-immigrants and refugees.

There are observed some regional variations in these patterns, but not so large. Much of the same trends can be found in both central and less central regions. Change of job draw, however, immigrants towards central labor markets during economic upswings, while the financial crisis had the strongest negative impact on immigrants' employment in the central regions.

Refugees and family-immigrants largely move in accordance with the development of employment. Labor-immigrants, Nordic immigrants and more recently also the population without immigrant background show weaker correlation between trends in regional labor markets and net relocation.

Gross immigration goes largely to the parts of the country where there is the greatest demand for labor. Before the financial crisis the domestic movements also went towards the regions with most vacant jobs, but after the financial crisis, this has changed. Immigration has in many ways compensated for the fact that domestic population movements have followed more traditional paths, with net out-migration from several of the regions where the employment has increased due to high petroleum investments.

Refugees and family-immigrants move internal to regions where these groups constitute the highest share of employment, while labor-immigrants and Nordic immigrants show the opposite pattern – they move increasingly to areas with less other labor immigrants and Nordic immigrants.

The relationship between gross in-migration and gross employment access is greatest among labor- and education-immigrants and Nordic immigrants. This can partly be explained by the fact that these groups of immigrants have the strongest labor force attachment.

Immigrants who remain outside of employment and/or education is mostly to be found among refugees, family-immigrants and immigrants with non-specified reason for immigration, while education- and labor-immigrants and Nordic immigrants show the greatest tendency to enter a job or start an education. The main trend is that immigrants who move between labor market regions show a slightly stronger tendency to go into employment and/or education than immigrants who do not provide such removals.

Among immigrants who are already in employment and/or education, the education- and labor-immigrants and Nordic immigrants show the greatest tendency to remain within such "activity statuses." Immigrants that mostly go from a status as employed and/or in education and to another statuses, is primarily to be found among refugees, but also family-immigrants and immigrants with non-specified reason for immigration show great exits. The main trend is that immigrants who do not move between labor market regions show slightly stronger tendency to remain in employment and/or education than immigrants who make such moves. Those who relocate are thus associated both with stronger tendency of finding a job or starting an education, but also more likely to quit their job or education.

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