A Division of Labour?: Labour Market Segmentation by Region of Origin: The Case of Intra-EU Migrants in the UK, Germany and Denmark

Jonas Felbo-Kolding, Janine Leschke, Thees F. Spreckelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The 2004/2007 EU enlargements rendered CEE citizens legally equal to EU labour market participants. However, CEE migrants still face ‘racialisation’ and segmentation in North-Western European labour markets. Similar processes might extend to EU-South migrants, giving rise to a division of labour, whereby CEE and EU-South migrants end up in poor-quality, low-pay jobs. We compare the labour market integration of recent intra-EU migrants (EU8, EU2, EU-South, EU-West/EEA) in the UK, Germany and Denmark. Using labour force, microcensus and register data, we model quantitative and qualitative integration through labour force participation and wages. We find no significant differences in labour force participation between nationals and migrants in the UK. Whilst in both Denmark and Germany, the labour force participation of EU-migrants is significantly lower. Notwithstanding differences in migration trends, labour markets and welfare regimes, we find evidence of a division of labour along occupational and industry lines − that translates into wage differences. EU-West/EEA migrants occupy better jobs (even outperforming nationals), followed by EU-South and CEE migrants. In Denmark and Germany, EU8 and EU2 migrants’ wages are lower than those of nationals even after controlling for differences in occupations. These findings suggest that inequalities across the EU are reproduced rather than converging.
The 2004/2007 EU enlargements rendered CEE citizens legally equal to EU labour market participants. However, CEE migrants still face ‘racialisation’ and segmentation in North-Western European labour markets. Similar processes might extend to EU-South migrants, giving rise to a division of labour, whereby CEE and EU-South migrants end up in poor-quality, low-pay jobs. We compare the labour market integration of recent intra-EU migrants (EU8, EU2, EU-South, EU-West/EEA) in the UK, Germany and Denmark. Using labour force, microcensus and register data, we model quantitative and qualitative integration through labour force participation and wages. We find no significant differences in labour force participation between nationals and migrants in the UK. Whilst in both Denmark and Germany, the labour force participation of EU-migrants is significantly lower. Notwithstanding differences in migration trends, labour markets and welfare regimes, we find evidence of a division of labour along occupational and industry lines − that translates into wage differences. EU-West/EEA migrants occupy better jobs (even outperforming nationals), followed by EU-South and CEE migrants. In Denmark and Germany, EU8 and EU2 migrants’ wages are lower than those of nationals even after controlling for differences in occupations. These findings suggest that inequalities across the EU are reproduced rather than converging.
LanguageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Number of pages24
ISSN1369-183X
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 7. September 2018

Keywords

  • Intra-EU migration
  • Labour market integration
  • Racialisation
  • Wages
  • Welfare regimes
  • Segmentation
  • Central Eastern Europe
  • EU-South
  • EU-West

Cite this

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A Division of Labour? Labour Market Segmentation by Region of Origin: The Case of Intra-EU Migrants in the UK, Germany and Denmark. / Felbo-Kolding, Jonas; Leschke, Janine; Spreckelsen, Thees F.

In: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 07.09.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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