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CASE STUDY: MIGRANTS WHO HELD MORE THAN ONE JOB IN 2010-11
According to the 2011 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID), 70% of permanent migrants (in the Skilled, Family and Humanitarian streams) were in the labour force. Most Skilled stream migrants were engaged in the labour force (81%) and approximately 62% of migrants in the Family stream were in the labour force. A higher proportion of Humanitarian stream migrants were not in the labour force than were in the labour force (56% and 40% respectively) (ABS, 2014).
The number of jobs migrants hold in a financial year is an area of policy interest. Changing one's job a number of times during the year or holding more than one job at the same time, may indicate job market flexibility through short-term, contractual or casual employment arrangements. However, frequent changes in job or more than one job may indicate unsatisfactory employment outcomes, especially if a migrant requires more than one job to achieve their desired level of income or living standards. The Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID) provides some interesting information regarding the number of jobs held either consecutively or concurrently during 2010-11.
Almost one-third (31%) of migrants had 2 or more jobs in 2010-11, while only 1.2% had five or more. Provisional visa migrants were the most likely to have held more than one job, with 46% having had two or more jobs in the financial year.
Migrants with a Skilled or Family visa recorded falls in their median Employee income as the number of jobs they held in the financial year increased. Skilled migrants who held one job had a median Employee income of $51,511 which dropped to $45,631 with 5 or more jobs held. The median income of Family migrants declined from $35,140 (held one job) to $33,972 (held 5 or more jobs). This suggests that migrants with a Skilled or Family visa who experience more job volatility (i.e. hold more than one job concurrently or consecutively during the financial year) tend to receive lower levels of remuneration compared with those with only one job.
In contrast, migrants on Humanitarian and Provisional visas recorded an increase in median Employee incomes as their number of jobs increased. Migrants with a Humanitarian visa who held one job had a median Employee income of $26,507, compared with $33,308 for those with 5 or more jobs. Similarly, migrants with a Provisional visa had a median Employee income of $21,736 (held one job) which increased to $33,583 (held 5 or more jobs). For these migrants, whose Employee income levels are relatively low compared with Skilled and Family migrants, more jobs equated to more overall Employee income.
Information on migrants' employment arrangements not currently available from this dataset could provide a greater understanding of these findings. A loss or change in job can result in a change in arrangements (e.g. permanent/casual, full-time/part-time), period/s without Employee income (e.g. unemployed, not in the labour force), differences in the number of hours worked or a change of occupation and/or industry. All of these factors may lead to a significant variation in personal income.
The following graph presents the median Employee income of migrants by visa stream and the number of jobs held in 2010-11.
GRAPH 16: MIGRANT TAXPAYERS, Median Employee income, By number of jobs(a) and visa stream, 2010-11
Footnote(s): (a) A job is determined by an Individual Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) record linked to an ABN record. A person with more than one PAYG link to an ABN is considered as having more than one job in the financial year. This is not the same as being considered a "multiple job holder" as it cannot be determined whether a person held each job concurrently, consecutively, or both. Industry information is included for each job held by an individual in the financial year.
Source(s): Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset (PITMID), 2010-11
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2014, Microdata: Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset, 2011 (cat. no. 3417.0.55.001), Canberra. Viewed at
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