Labor Market Integration of Refugees: Determinants of Labor Market Entry Among Syrian, Afghan, Iranian and Iraqi Refugees in Austria
Preliminary findings show that labor market entry in Austria is mainly affected by refugees’ cultural capital (e.g. educational background, language proficiency), social capital (specific forms of personal contacts), occupational experiences as well as factors like age, gender and national background. The qualitative data give insight into the specific processes of looking for and finding work, hence disclosing a number of challenges regarding employability (e.g. recognition of qualifications) but also in the everyday reality of refugees (e.g. supporting NGO’s), that can positively or negatively affect their chances of finding a job. Better prospects of labor market integration are found for young males with access to ethnic and Austrian social networks and the willingness to work their way up from nothing, mainly in the service and manual crafts industries, while women with young children and little formal education can be especially vulnerable. Often the restraint of seeking employment during the long asylum seeking process is deemed to be a negative constant in economic integration.