Do Migrants Get Good Jobs in Australia? The Role of Ethnic Networks in Job Search

  • Stéphane Mahuteau
  • P. N. Raja Junankar


The aim of this paper is to study how new migrants to Australia find ‘good jobs’. We use all the waves of the two cohorts of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA) to analyse whether a new migrant obtains a good job conditional on finding a job. The distinctive nature of this paper is to study the role of ethnic networks in job search and the quality of jobs that migrants find in the first few years of settlement. We define the concept of a ‘good job’ in terms of objective and subjective criteria. Our results suggest that there is an initial downward movement along the occupational ladder due to imperfect transferability of human capital from the source country to the recipient country, followed by an improvement.1 As a result of a tightening in access to social security benefits for the second cohort of the LSIA, we study whether this increases the probability that new migrants accept a ‘bad job’ quickly and then move onto better jobs over time. Our results provide some support to this view. However, accounting for their higher employability, new migrants seem to fare better up to 1.5 years after settlement.


Marginal Effect Visa Category Occupational Mobility Social Security Benefit Objective Definition 
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© John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stéphane Mahuteau
  • P. N. Raja Junankar

There are no affiliations available

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