The Long and Winding Road to Employment An Analysis of the Labour Market Careers of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Belgium

Andrea REA and Johan WETS
Science et société
978 90 382 2396 4

The goal of this book was to study the evolution of the socioeconomic position of people who applied for asylum in Belgium in the period between 2001 and 2010 and who were still residing in the country at the end of the research period. The study compares the integration on the labour market of asylum seekers in procedure to those who have been granted the status of refugees and aims at identifying factors that foster and hinder the socio-economic integration of these populations. In summary, the analysis of the ‘careers’ of asylum seekers and refugees towards work in Belgium shows the same wide variation in the labour market position of the different groups of immigrants that can be witnessed throughout Europe and by extension across the OECD. All over Europe, immigrants’ labour market outcomes tend to lag behind those of the native-born and in Belgium even farther than in other OECD countries. No single aspect seems to be responsible: many factors intervene in the labour market integration process and there is no single policy measure that can be, by itself, a key for success. This book however reveals some key factors in the labour market integration of asylum seekers and refugees. Time plays a crucial role and greatly contributes to the changing socioeconomic position of the new immigrants. The different types of statistical analysis (descriptive, multivariate and longitudinal analysis) that have been used to analyze the distinct (sub) populations of the database are all in line with each other research. The longer a person is present in the country, the more likely that person is to find a job and cease dependence on social welfare.

A n d r e a R e a A n d J o h a n We t s

Wi t h T h e C o l l a b o r a t i o n O f :
B a r b a r a H e r m a n ,
Wo u t e r S c h e p e r s ,
L o u i s e C a l l i e r A n d
L i e s e l o t V a n d u y n s l a g e r