Occupational Adjustment of Immigrants in The Netherlands

  • Aslan ZorluEmail author


This article examines the speed of the occupational adjustment of immigrants using Labour Force Surveys 2004 and 2005 from Statistics Netherlands. The analysis provides new evidence that immigrants start with jobs at the lower levels of skill distribution. Their occupational achievement improves significantly with the duration of residence. The extent of this initial disadvantage and the rate of adjustment vary across immigrant groups according to the transferability of skills associated with their cultural and linguistic distance from Dutch society as predicted by the theory of immigrant occupational mobility. Most notably, Turks and Moroccans face the greatest initial dip and achieve the highest rate of adjustment, while the opposite holds for Caribbean and Western immigrants. Our results are robust to three alternative measures of occupational status.


Ethnic minorities Quality of jobs Skill transferability 



The research was based on collaboration with Statistics Netherlands. I am grateful to Henk-Jan Dirven, Frank van Tubergen and participants of 8th IZA Annual Migration Meeting (AM2), 12–15 May 2011 in Washington for valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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