Working Paper

Differences in labour market outcomes between natives, refugees and other migrants in the UK

Published 12 July 2018 / By Isabel Ruiz & Carlos Vargas-Silva

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Using 2010-2016 data we compare the labour market outcomes of natives, those who migrated to seek asylum (refugees) and other migrants in the UK. The results indicate that refugees are less likely to be employed, earn less per hour and work fewer hours than natives and those who migrated to the UK for other reasons. The evidence suggests that differences in health status (particularly mental health) and English proficiency partly explain these gaps. Moreover, while employment growth of refugees between 2010 and 2016 was higher than that of other migrants, this was not the case for other labour market outcomes.


UK, refugees, labour markets, immigration


Isabel Ruiz, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford; Email:

Carlos Vargas-Silva (contact author), Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford; Email:


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