Breakfast Briefings

With a lot of help from my friends: How do migrants use social networks to access jobs?

Breakfast Briefings / Friday 12 April 2013

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This briefing provides a descriptive analysis of the role of social networks in the labour market, comparing immigrant and native men in the UK. The speakers will explore the determinants of using social networks as a channel for looking for jobs. The focus is not only on the main search method of job search, but also on whether social networks are used as a method of search among many alternative ones.

The speakers then investigate the social network effects on labour market outcomes in terms of job finding rates. Based on the UK Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the period 1992 to 2010, the analysis explores the role of two key aspects of immigrants’ human capital: the education level and the years since immigration. The talk will demonstrate that immigrants are more likely than White British-born to rely on using social networks as a main search method, while no crucial difference is found when personal contacts are used as a method of job search. Immigrants, though, are as likely as natives to find employment through the network, but for both, it is the less educated who are more likely to succeed in obtaining jobs through contacts.

Finally the findings show that there is no systematic pattern in the effect of years in the UK on job search success among immigrant groups.

Speaker: Jackie Wabha, Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton