Transition to employment within the 1993 cohort in Sweden

Charlotta Hedberg, Stockholm University
Tiit Tammaru, University of Tartu

An important debate in current research and policy focuses on the role of spatial characteristics — e.g., immigrant origin, urban residential segregation and neighbourhood effects — on the social mobility of immigrants. The spatial separation of socio-economic groups would be an obstacle for immigrants to integrate themselves into the socio-economic structures of the host society, including the labour market. In this study, we analyse the labour market careers of a 1993 immigrant cohort in Sweden. We use a longitudinal data base derived from Swedish population register and discrete time event history analysis with the aim to study their transition to employment between 1994 and 2002. The results show that immigrants’ labour market participation increases markedly over time, but with large variations between immigrant groups. Geographic factors prove to be crucial in the analysis of immigrant employment. First of all, we find a negative effect of living in a distressed area on getting employed, which supports the hypothesis of neighbourhood effects. Immigrant origin also matters. Among the personal characteristics, the level of education has the biggest effect as higher education elevates considerably the odds of finding a job. Additionally, many other personal characteristics, including gender, have an effect on the transition to employment.

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Presented in Session 84: Social Mobility and Labour Market Participation of Foreign Workers