Why do refugees take such a long time to gain employment?

The U.S. and Canada are successes compared with failure in Europe.

Refugees have—with the United States being an exception—substantially lower employment rates than other immigrants for at least the first decade after arrival. Those refugees who do find work also experience much lower wages than other immigrants. This cannot be explained by demographic and educational differences between refugees and other immigrants. It may be explained in part by language deficiencies or physical and mental health problems due to experiences in regions of origin or during migrations.

Dispersal of refugees in the country, to even out the burden, may be harmful. That deprives refugees of access to networks of individuals of similar origin, which are often critical to job finding and social learning.

Why do Canada and the U.S. have better outcomes? For the U.S. possibly because refugees must find work within a few months of arrival. “Keeping the asylum process short, providing early support to address health issues, and facilitating refugees to join the labor market
at the earliest possible stage are of key importance. Such policies reduce skill loss, help to reduce uncertainty about future residence, and improve the effectiveness of human capital investment, thus enhancing incentives to invest.”

Found here.


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