Migrant workers only rarely take jobs which were being done by the native Dutch population, according to new research by the government’s socio-cultural policy think-tank SCP.
‘Older and younger workers do not appear to displace each other from the labour market, but rather complement each other,’ the SCP said. ‘Most of the scientific literature on migration also offers no evidence of migration-induced displacement.’
However, political measures to steer the labour market may lead to some displacement, as some categories benefit from wage cost subsidies or individual guidance to help them find work more quickly, the SCP said.
The think-tank said that although its analyses shows there is no clear evidence of displacement on the Dutch jobs market, people do feel that their chances of finding work have reduced as a result of an influx of the new groups of potential workers.
‘After losing their job, some interviewees have found that it is not easy to find work,’ the SCP said. ‘They believe that displacement by new groups on the labour market plays a role in this, along with competition from other groups already present on the jobs market, technological change and a more flexible labour market.’
The SCP does say that people who are in direct competition for jobs with immigrants may lose out. ‘Migrants often have a below-average education level, which means they compete for jobs with low-skilled manual workers,’ the SCP said.
Nevertheless, the negative effects for low-skilled workers are mainly short-term because they occur during the first few years after the arrival of migrants, the SCP said.
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