Économie et Statistique n° 393-394 - 2006Life Story survey
Migration and careers: a longitudinal approach
Migration interrupts the development of a person's career, particularly in the case of women, who often have to abandon their profession when they leave their country to come to France. However, immigrants gradually return to work as they spend more time in France, but the return to work rate is slower for women. The effect of migration on employment is also much greater for those immigrants who arrived after the 1973-1974 oil crisis. Whilst immigrant men have largely found employment in France, regardless of their age on arrival or their past experience, a significant proportion of immigrant women have experienced long-term unemployment. These differences are in large due to their reasons for migration: men generally migrate to France to find work whilst women generally migrate to rejoin family. The chances of finding employment are greatly reduced for women who married before migrating to France. Significant differences exist between immigrants, notably according to their country of origin: immigrants from Southern Europe are more likely to be employed. These differences are linked in part to the prevailing economic situation in the host country on the immigrant's arrival. For men, the effects of migration gradually fade as they progress in their professional career; however, for women, these effects remain even after they have been living in the country for several years. Beyond their simple participation in the labour market, there are significant differences not only in terms of the type of employment immigrants hold, but also in terms of their promotion prospects. Immigrants usually start their professional career in unskilled blue-collar or white-collar jobs and are not promoted as often as non-immigrants.