The Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey provides detailed data about migrants who have come to Australia over the past 10 years and how they have fared after their arrival. The topics inclulde how migrants settle into employment and whether their likelihood of finding work relates to their visa type, education, language skills or other characteristics.
In November 2016, the in-scope Australian population aged 15 years and over was 19.1 million people. Of these people, an estimated 6.8 million (35%) were born overseas. (Table 1)
Around 1.9 million of the people born overseas arrived in Australia to live after 2006 and were aged 15 years and over on arrival. This represents 10% of the total population aged 15 years and over. Of these, 254,600 were an Australian or New Zealand citizen before arrival or held New Zealand citizenship as at November 2016. This group is not covered in this analysis. The remaining 1.7 million people were recent migrants or temporary residents, who are the focus of this commentary. Of these:
- 57% were recent migrants (588,200 people had a permanent visa and 360,200 people were now Australian citizens)
- 40% were temporary residents (662,900 people had temporary visas). (Table 1)
The majority (81%) of recent migrants were aged 20-44 years on arrival. Of the 662,900 temporary residents, 77% were aged 20-44 years on arrival. (Table 3)
An estimated 81% of recent migrants and temporary residents were the main applicant on their visa application form when they first arrived in Australia. (Table 5)
There were 362,300 people who had a temporary visa on arrival to live in Australia and had since obtained a permanent visa or Australian citizenship by November 2016. Of these, 53% had obtained a permanent visa while 47% had obtained Australian citizenship. Of those who had obtained a permanent visa, 61% held a Skilled visa and 33% held a Family visa. (Table 8)
Many migration policies and visa applications are underpinned by labour market needs. To facilitate analysis of migrant labour market outcomes, respondents to the survey were asked about their employment prior to arriving in Australia, their current employment status and their occupation prior to and after arrival.
MEDIA RELEASE: Two-thirds of recent migrants and temporary residents employed
14 June 2017
Some 65 per cent of Australia’s 1.7 million recent migrants and temporary residents were employed in November 2016, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.
“Around 9 per cent of recent migrants arrived with their employment confirmed, while 46 per cent spent up to three months looking for their first job,” said Denise Carlton, Program Manager of Population Statistics at the ABS . “An estimated 82 per cent of skilled migrants who were the main visa applicant were employed as at November 2016.”
“Around 65 per cent of recent migrants arrived in Australia with a non-school qualification, more than three quarters (76 per cent) of these holding a Bachelor Degree or higher. Approximately one third (36 per cent) of recent migrants had obtained a non-school qualification after arrival in Australia. Of these, half (50 per cent) had obtained a Bachelor Degree or higher.”
The 2016 Characteristics of Recent Migrants Survey collected information about migrant employment, education and household income of those who have arrived in Australia over the past 10 years.
Almost one third of recent migrants who have had a job in Australia reported difficulties in finding their first job, with the most common reason being a lack of local work experience and references (65 per cent) followed by a lack of local contacts or networks (31 per cent).
An estimated 43 per cent of recent migrants who had been employed since their arrival received help to find their first job. Assistance most commonly came from friends or family (74 per cent), followed by Centrelink or an employment services provider (17 per cent).
Ms Carlton said: “Since 2007, about 1.9 million people aged 15 years and older on arrival have entered Australia – equivalent to 10 per cent of the total Australian population over 15 years of age.”
SOURCE: Australian Bureau of Statistics. “Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia, November 2016.” ABS No. 6250.0 14 June 2017.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia