Official data shows majority of migrants gets jobs in Australia

by Ray Clancy on June 16, 2017

in Australia Immigration, Jobs in Australia

Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton wants integration to be a key component for applicants for citizenship but new research suggests most immigrants are already doing so by getting a job.

Some 65% of Australia’s 1.7 million recent migrants and temporary residents who have arrived in the last decade were employed, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Foreign Workers

(Nessi Alri/

Around 9% arrived with jobs to go to immediately while 46% spent up to three months finding a job and the higher skilled they were the more likely they were to be employed quickly. Indeed, the figures also show that 82% of skilled migrants were employed.

The figures also show that 65% had a non-school qualification with 76% of these holding a Bachelor Degree or higher. Some 36% obtained a non-school qualification after arrival in Australia and of these 50% 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 10 years to November 2016.

Some did find it harder to get a job with 65% saying it was due to a lack of local work experience while 31% felt it was a lack of local contacts or networks and 25% said they experienced language difficulties.

Around 43% who had work immediately did so with help. The vast majority, 74%, got help from family and friends while 17% used Centrelink or an employment services provider.

Overall, the data shows that since 2007 about 1.9 million people aged 15 years and over on arrival entered Australia, equivalent to 10% of the national population. There were 362,300 people who had a temporary visa on arrival to live in Australia and had since obtained a permanent visa or Australian citizenship by November 2016. Of these, 53% had obtained a permanent visa while 47% had obtained Australian citizenship.

The figures also show that the unemployment rate for recent migrants and temporary residents was 7.4%, compared with 5.4% for people born in Australia. Migrants with Australian citizenship had an unemployment rate of 3.3%, temporary residents 8.6% and recent migrants on a permanent visa 8.8%.

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