Two-thirds of recent migrants employed


Some 65 per cent of Australia's 1.7 million recent migrants and temporary residents were employed in November 2016, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"Around 9 per cent of recent migrants arrived with their employment confirmed, while 46 per cent spent up to three months looking for their first job," said Denise Carlton, Program Manager of Population Statistics at the ABS . "An estimated 82 per cent of skilled migrants who were the main visa applicant were employed as at November 2016."

"Around 65 per cent of recent migrants arrived in Australia with a non-school qualification, more than three quarters (76 per cent) of these holding a Bachelor Degree or higher. Approximately one third (36 per cent) of recent migrants had obtained a non-school qualification after arrival in Australia. Of these, half (50 per cent) had obtained a Bachelor Degree or higher."

The 2016 Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey collected information about migrant employment, education and household income of those who have arrived in Australia over the past 10 years.

Almost one third of recent migrants who have had a job in Australia reported difficulties in finding their first job, with the most common reason being a lack of local work experience and references (65 per cent) followed by a lack of local contacts or networks (31 per cent).

An estimated 43 per cent of recent migrants who had been employed since their arrival received help to find their first job. Assistance most commonly came from friends or family (74 per cent), followed by Centrelink or an employment services provider (17 per cent).

Ms Carlton said: "Since 2007, about 1.9 million people aged 15 years and older on arrival have entered Australia - equivalent to 10 per cent of the total Australian population over 15 years of age."

Further details are available in Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia, Nov 2016 (cat. no. 6250.0) available for free download from the ABS website

Media notes

  • Recent migrants are defined as people who were born overseas, first arrived to live in Australia (for one year or more) after 2006, were aged 15 years or over on arrival, were not an Australian citizen or New Zealand citizen on arrival, do not currently hold New Zealand citizenship and have permanent Australian resident status.
  • Main applicants are generally the person whose skills or proposed activities in Australia are assessed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as part of their visa application. They will usually have been specifically identified on the visa application form as the 'main applicant'.
  • Temporary residents differ from Recent migrants in that they have a temporary visa, not a permanent visa.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our email notification service and get media releases or products sent to you on release.

Back to top of the page