The Labour Market Integration of New Immigrants in Europe: Analysis and Policy Evaluation

A Precarious Position: The Labor Market Integration of New Immigrants in Spain

This report assesses how new immigrants to Spain fare in the country's labor market, evaluating the conditions under which they are able to find employment, and their progress out of unskilled work into middle-skilled jobs. The report is part of a series of six case studies on labor market outcomes among immigrants to European Union countries.

New immigrants to Spain have very different experiences entering the labor market depending on when they arrived in the country. The report analyzes Spanish Labor Force Survey data from 2000 through 2011, finding that immigrants who arrived before the 2008 recession had little trouble finding work immediately, but those who arrived after 2008 struggled to find work as Spanish unemployment rates skyrocketed.

As Spain works its way towards economic recovery, policymakers should consider the implications of this report's findings for integrating future immigrant workers. The findings suggest that for many workers, finding middle-skilled work alone isn’t enough, and integration policies could aim to help workers transition from the secondary to the primary labor market in order to find their way into more stable employment.