Labour Market Progression of Canadian Immigrant Women

41 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2014

See all articles by Alícia Adserà

Alícia Adserà

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Princeton University - Office of Population Research (OPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ana M. Ferrer

University of Calgary - Department of Economics

Abstract

We use the confidential files of the 1991-2006 Canadian Census, combined with information from O*NET on the skill requirements of jobs, to explore whether Canadian immigrant women behave as secondary workers, remaining marginally attached to the labour market and experiencing little career progression over time. Our results show that the labor market patterns of female immigrants to Canada do not fit the profile of secondary workers, but rather conform to patterns recently exhibited by married native women elsewhere, with rising participation (and wage assimilation). At best, only relatively uneducated immigrant women in unskilled occupations may fit the profile of secondary workers, with slow skill mobility and low-status job-traps. Educated immigrant women, on the other hand, experience skill assimilation over time: a reduction in physical strength and an increase in analytical skills required in their jobs relative to those of natives.

Keywords: skill assimilation, labour market outcomes of immigrant women, wage gaps, female labor force participation, Canadian migration

JEL Classification: J01, J61, F22

Suggested Citation

Adsera, Alicia and Ferrer, Ana M., Labour Market Progression of Canadian Immigrant Women. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8407. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2492434

Alicia Adsera (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Princeton University - Office of Population Research (OPR) ( email )

200 Wallace Hall
NJ 08544
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ana M. Ferrer

University of Calgary - Department of Economics ( email )

Calgary, Alberta
Canada

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