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Working for a Better Life: Longitudinal Evidence on the Predictors of Employment Among Recently Arrived Refugee Migrant Men Living in Australia

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International Migration

Published online on


Although a number of studies have investigated the predictors of employment among refugee migrants, there is a dearth of evidence from longitudinal data. This study investigated the cross‐sectional and longitudinal predictors of employment among 233 adult refugee men living in South‐East Queensland, Australia. Participants were interviewed four times at six‐month intervals between 2008 and 2010. Using a conceptual model developed from the literature, Generalized Estimating Equations were used to model the predictors of employment. Over time, the employment rate increased from 44 per cent to 56 per cent. Region of birth, length of time in Australia, seeking employment through job service providers and informal networks, and owning a car were significant predictors of employment. Contrary to previous research, English language proficiency was not a significant predictor when other variables were controlled for. Recognition of overseas skills and qualifications decreased the chances of finding employment. The policy and programme implications are discussed.