Employment, unemployment, earned income2016 Edition

INSEE and the Official Statistical Service present Employment, unemployment, earned income, a set of analyses and indicators covering the labour market. This edition follows on from Insee Références Employment and wages and expands the topics covered.

Paru le : 05/07/2016

Mastering the language and employment of immigrants: what are the links?

Nagui Bechichi, Gérard Bouvier, Yaël Brinbaum, Jérôme Lê

When they arrive in France, immigrants from Africa and those who come to study can speak French much better than other immigrants. Even so, only people who speak no French at all are hindered in finding their first job in France. As far as this is concerned, the reason for migration is key. When the survey was carried out, differences in level were very much smaller, but a majority of immigrants still did not speak French perfectly. However, whether for men or women, the likelihood of being inactive or unemployed is not much affected by this criterion. One of the reasons for this is that immigrants adapt their job-seeking channels. Thus it is all the more frequent for jobs to be found through relatives when the immigrants speak poor French. The impact of the language can be seen, however, in the extent to which jobs filled match the immigrants' level of qualifications and skills. Among the most highly qualified, the feeling of being over-qualified or of being in a professional position that does not correspond to their training is more widespread among those who do not speak good French. In addition, all other characteristics being equal, the wages of immigrants who master the language are about 15% higher than the wages of other immigrants. They manage to exploit their qualifications and their experience at a similar level to non-immigrants.

Paru le : 05/07/2016