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, J., Leschke, J. and Spreckelsen, T. F. (2019) A division of labour? Labour market segmentation by region of origin: the case of intra-EU migrants in the UK, Germany and Denmark. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(15), pp. 2820-2843. (doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2018.1518709)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The parts of this paper on Germany and the UK have benefitted from funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement no. 613256 (www.style-research.eu). The Danish part of the paper was supported by a grant from the Danish Ministry of Employment.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Spreckelsen, Dr Thees
Authors: Felbo-Kolding, J., Leschke, J., and Spreckelsen, T. F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9451
Published Online:07 September 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 45(15): 2820-2843
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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