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6250.0 - Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia, Nov 2007 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/05/2008   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

In November 2007, the Australian civilian population aged 15 years and over comprised 16.4 million people (excluding institutionalised people and boarding school pupils; and people in very remote parts of Australia). Of these people 4.8 million (29%) were born overseas. (Table 1)

There were 1.1 million people who were born overseas, arrived in Australia after 1997, and were aged 15 years and over on arrival. This represents 7% of the total population aged 15 years and over. Of these,

  • 57% were recent migrants, that is, people who were born overseas, who arrived in Australia after 1997, were aged 15 years and over on arrival, had obtained permanent Australian resident status prior to or after their arrival, were not born in New Zealand, were not New Zealand citizens, did not hold Australian citizenship before arrival and were planning to stay in Australia for more than 12 months.
  • A further 25% were temporary residents who planned to stay in Australia for 12 months or more.
  • The remaining 18% were people whose residency status was not able to be determined, those who planned to stay in Australia for less than 12 months and those who held New Zealand citizenship, held Australian citizenship before arrival, or were born in New Zealand. (Table 1)

Of the recent migrants and temporary residents, 77% were the main applicant on their visa application form when they most recently arrived in Australia to live. (Table 5)


RECENT MIGRANTS

In November 2007, there were 647,000 recent migrants. The majority (76%) were born in other than main English speaking countries, and 90% were aged 15-44 years on arrival in Australia. (Table 3)

There were 74,500 recent migrants who had a temporary visa on their most recent arrival to live in Australia, and had obtained a permanent visa (74%) or Australian citizenship (26%) by November 2007. Of those who were temporary residents on arrival and had since obtained a permanent visa, 54% held a skilled visa and 44% held a family visa. (Table 7)


Employment

In November 2007, 68% of recent migrants were employed, compared to 66% of those born in Australia. Of those recent migrants who were employed, 77% were employed full time. Male recent migrants were more likely to be employed than recent female migrants (84% compared to 55%) (Table 2 and Table 3). Recent migrants with skilled visas were more likely to be employed than other recent migrants, with 79% of skilled recent migrants employed in November 2007, compared with 58% for those that held family visas and 67% for all recent migrants combined (Table 2). The proportion of employed recent migrants who had a job just before arrival was 76%, and approximately 48% of those people had changed their major occupation grouping since arriving in Australia (Table 9).

Almost four-fifths (79%) of recent migrants had a job at some time since arriving in Australia. Males were more likely to have had a job than females (89% compared to 70%). Of those who had not had a job since arriving, 21% had looked for a job, with males having had higher rates of job-seeking than females (32% and 17% respectively). Recent migrants born in main English-speaking countries were more likely to have had a job than those born in other than main English-speaking countries (88% compared to 76%). (Table 11)


Experienced difficulty finding employment

Of the recent migrants who had a job at some time since arriving in Australia, 36% reported having experienced difficulty finding their first job. Of those who experienced difficulty, the most commonly reported difficulties were having a lack of Australian work experience or references (56%), language difficulties (35%) and having a lack of local contacts and networks (29%). (Table 12)


Receiving help to find employment

Three-fifths (60%) of recent migrants reported receiving help finding employment when looking for their first job in Australia. The most common source of help reported by these people was friends or family, from whom 70% received help. (Table 12)


Length of time to find employment

Of the recent migrants who had a job at some time since arriving in Australia, over half (54%) already had a job arranged before arriving in Australia or had found a job within 3 months of looking for work. Almost a quarter (24%) of recent migrants took more than 12 months to find a job after arrival. (Table 12)


Unemployment

In November 2007, the unemployment rate for recent migrants was 5% compared with 4% for those born in Australia. The rate for male and female recent migrants was 4% and 6% respectively. This compares with 4% for both males and females born in Australia. (Table 2 and Table 3)


Labour force participation

The labour force participation rate for recent migrants was 72%, with males (87%) having a higher rate than females (59%). In comparison, the participation rate for the Australian-born population was 69%. For males and females born in Australia, participation rates were 75% and 62% respectively. (Table 2 and Table 3)

Recent migrants who were born in main English-speaking countries had a higher participation rate than those born in other than main English-speaking countries (81% compared to 69%) (Table 3). The highest participation rate amongst recent migrants was for those who held skilled visas (83%) (Table 2).


Qualifications

Three-fifths (60%) of recent migrants arrived in Australia with a non-school qualification. Of those who arrived with a non-school qualification, 62% arrived with a Bachelor Degree or higher, 17% arrived with an Advanced Diploma/Diploma and 19% arrived with a Certificate (Table 3). Just over one-third (34%) of recent migrants with a non-school qualification on arrival had their overseas qualifications recognised in Australia (Table 13). Over one-quarter (26%) of recent migrants had obtained a non-school qualification since arriving in Australia to live and of these, just over half (53%) had obtained a Bachelor Degree or higher. (Table 3).

Of the recent migrants who had obtained a non-school qualification before arriving in Australia and who had a job since arriving in Australia, 53% reported that they used their highest qualification in their first job in Australia. A further 21% of recent migrants had not used their highest qualification in their first job, but had tried to find work more suited to their qualifications. (Table 12)


Household Income

Wages or salary was the main source of household income for the majority (83%) of recent migrants. The remainder sourced their main household income from 'government pension or allowance' (10%) or from an 'other' income source (7%). Those born in main English-speaking countries were more likely to have wages or salary as their main form of household income than those born in other than main English-speaking countries (93% and 80% respectively). (Table 10)


TEMPORARY RESIDENTS

In November 2007 there were 285,100 temporary residents, of whom 84% were born in an other than main English-speaking country and 95% were aged 15-44 on arrival. (Table 3)


Employment

In November 2007, the percentage of temporary residents who were employed (59%) was lower than that for recent migrants (68%) and those born in Australia (66%). The percentage of temporary residents who were employed varied across visa types: less than half (47%) of temporary residents with student visas were employed; while more than four-fifths (83%) of temporary residents with a long-term business visa were employed. Recent migrants were more likely to be employed full time than temporary residents, with 57% of employed temporary residents working full time compared to 77% for recent migrants. Of the employed temporary residents, those with a long-term business visa were the most likely to work full time with 92% of those with a long-term business visa working full time compared to 19% of those with a student visa. (Table 2 and Table 3)


Unemployment

The highest unemployment rate among temporary residents was 9% for those who held student visas. Those who held student visas also had the lowest labour force participation rate (52%). (Table 2)


Labour force participation

The labour force participation rate for temporary residents (63%) was lower than for recent migrants (72%) and for those born in Australia (69%). As with recent migrants, male temporary residents participated to a greater extent than females (70% compared to 56%). The highest participation rate for temporary residents was for those persons holding long-term business visas (87%) and the lowest rate reported was for those with student visas (52%). (Table 2 and Table 3)

LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION, By residency type as at November 2007 and sex
Graph: Labour force participation by residency type as at November 2007 and sex



Qualifications

Almost three-fifths (59%) of temporary residents had obtained a non-school qualification before arriving in Australia. Almost two thirds (65%) of these persons held a Bachelor Degree or higher. About one fifth (19%) of temporary residents had obtained a non-school qualification since arrival, with over half (54%) of those temporary residents completing a Bachelor Degree or higher. This is lower than the proportion for recent migrants and is consistent with the high proportion of temporary residents who hold student visas for the purpose of obtaining a qualification (55%). (Table 3)


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