Reports 2016/09

Employment and education among young people with immigrant background 2014

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This report describes how the share of young people aged 16-34 years in employment or education varies with immigration background. Employment is an important condition for immigrants to be integrated and to become economically self-sufficient. This report shows that the completion of education beyond compulsory level strengthens their possibilities on the labour market. Hence, being employed or under education, is of great importance regarding integration.

Issues concerning integration are especially related to refugees and asylum seekers. World regions dominated by labour immigrants are therefore excluded from this study. A comparison is made concerning the following three groups: 1) Those who arrived in Norway as immigrants from Eastern Europe outside the EU, from Asia, Africa and South and Central America. This group mainly consists of refugees and family immigrants. 2) Those born in Norway to immigrant parents with a background from the same world regions. These two groups are compared with: 3) People with a non-immigrant background (i.e. the majority population). The report is based on register statistics for the 4th quarter of 2014 and includes people that are registered as residents of Norway (in the National Register) at that time.

Immigrants referred to in this abstract only include those with a minimum stay of 4 years in Norway. Furthermore, this abstract generally only includes persons who are aged 20 or older with registered education data.

Comparisons of the three groups by level of completed education show that the share in work or education (referred to here as “active” or “in activity”) is lower for the two groups with an immigrant background than for the majority population. Among these two groups, the share for Norwegian-born to immigrant parents is generally closer to the share for the majority population than the immigrants.

Completion of an upper secondary education has, however, a stronger impact on the share in activity than immigrant background. Norwegian-born to immigrant parents and immigrants who have completed an upper secondary or higher education have considerably higher shares in activity than the majority population with a compulsory education only. The fact that the two groups with an immigrant background have larger shares with a compulsory education only than the majority population is a key contributing factor to the disparities in activity level between the three population groups as a whole.

Within the age group 20-24 years, the rate of activity among Norwegian-born to immigrant parents is 3.6 percentage points lower than the rate for the majority population. Among immigrants, the corresponding disparity is 9.6 percentage points. Comparisons of those with the same educational level show that the disparity in relation to the majority varies between 1.3 and 2.5 percentage points among the Norwegian-born to immigrant parents and 1.1 to 4.4 percentage points among immigrants.

The disparity in the share in activity between the age group 25-34 years and the majority population is greater than for the group aged 20-24 years, but the corresponding share for Norwegian-born to immigrant parents is still closer to the majority population than the immigrants.

In relation to gender disparities, we also find a separation at the age of 25. The gender disparities are smallest within the age group 20-24 years, and among those with a completed education above compulsory level there is almost full gender equality irrespective of immigrant background.

Among those aged 25-34 years, the shares in activity are somewhat lower compared to the younger group within all three population groups. However, this tendency is stronger among women than men, whereby all gender disparities are in favour of men. The strongest effect of this tendency is found within the immigrant group.

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