Économie et Statistique n° 464-465-466 - Inequalities and Discriminations: measurement issues Indirect approaches: discrimination as an unexplained component of inequalities - Experimental approach: the contribution of testing - Subjective approaches: measuring felt discriminations
Ethnic inequalities in access to jobs in New Caledonia
New Caledonia stands out from all the French overseas territories for its high GDP per capita and strong growth. However, in this “wealthy” territory there are obvious inequalities. Industrial development has led to great geographical disparities which are compounded by ethnic inequalities. The socioeconomic characteristics of the Kanak, the native population, differ significantly from those of the non-Kanak. Appropriate policies to reduce inequalities were introduced more than 20 years ago. It is in relation to this period of rebalancing that we analyse changes in inequalities linked with integration into the labour market. Using data from the last four population censuses (1989, 1996, 2004 and 2009), this study shows that over 20 years, the level of education in the New Caledonian population has improved considerably. This development has been faster for the Kanaks than for the non-Kanaks, resulting in a reduction in the impact of ethnic community of origin on access to qualifications. However, inequalities in access to qualifications remain and give cause for concern: in 2009, a young non-Kanak was seven times more likely to obtain a higher education diploma that a young Kanak. In contrast to this large reduction in inequalities in access to diplomas, the non-Kanak / Kanak ratio of opportunities for access to jobs decreased little between 1996 and 2009. The Kanaks are still marginalised when it comes to access to the highest qualifications and to jobs with the greatest responsibilities. For all dates, however, when considering individual characteristics and especially the level of education, there has been a major reduction in the impact of ethnic community of origin on access to jobs, although it remains significant. Inequalities in access to qualifications therefore constitute the main factor relating to inequality in vocational integration.