Immigrants and autochthonous in the Italian labour market: a comparative study

Nicola Tedesco, Università degli Studi di Cagliari
Luisa Salaris, Università degli Studi di Cagliari
Giuseppe Gabrielli, Università degli Studi di Bari
Anna Paterno, Università degli Studi di Bari

In the last decades, immigration from developing countries and central-east Europe to Italy is continuously growing. This trend represents an important element of novelty not only in demography, but also in the national socio-economic contest. In particular, the increasing presence of immigrants in the Italian labour market shows to be related to the persistence of relevant structural deficit in the local production system. The foreign component seems to be characterized by three particular aspects. The first refers to a high level of “over-skilled employment”, that results to be higher among foreigners than among natives. The second aspect deals with occupational segregation of immigrants workers, that has stressed the existing segmentation of local labour markets in the country. The third aspect is constituted by underemployment. These aspects are mainly based on gender, education and area of residence. Particularly, legal status (regular or irregular staying) and nationality are additional elements of discrimination to the access of migrants to the labour market and the type of occupation covered. Accordingly, based on the analysis of Istat data on labour forces (2010), this contribution aims to investigate the characteristics of the working insertion of immigrants in the different local segments of Italian labour market, focusing the attention on possible factors that distinguish various nationality of immigrants present across the national territory. Parallel, the research compares the situation of immigrants to that of Italians, in order to identify possible situations of underemployment, over-skilled employment and segregation. The main variables used for analysis are age, gender, area of origin, geographical area of residence, occupational condition, sector of activity, professional level, educational level, year of residence in Italy. Situations of segregation, underemployment and over-skilled employment are measured by means of indexes and multivariate analysis at micro and macro level.

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Presented in Session 41: Immigrant labor market outcomes

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