Dimensions of New Immigration in England: Immigrant Settlement Patterns, Labour Market Outcomes and Neighbourhood Experiences

UoM administered thesis: Phd

Abstract

Much of the public policy discourse about immigration in the UK has drawn on the experiences of post-war immigrants from the former British colonies. The volume and composition of immigration flows has changed significantly in recent years with substantial increases in the number of immigrants, particularly from countries without links to the UK, and as a result of the large scale immigration from the EU Accession countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Immigration remains a contested issue with public and political debates focusing on the nature and impact of immigration and its perceived negative effects on employment, public services and social cohesion. In spite of the growing number of studies examining the experiences of new immigrants in local neighbourhoods and labour markets there is a lack of comprehensive evidence about how these experiences differ across immigrant groups and the role of place in shaping the experiences and outcomes of new immigration.This research draws on a variety of data from the census, national surveys, administrative sources and qualitative interviews to explore the settlement patterns, labour market outcomes and neighbourhood experiences of new immigrants. The findings show that new immigrants are more likely to locate in ethnically diverse and socially deprived neighbourhoods upon arrival although there is variation in the factors determining immigrant settlement by world area of origin in line with differences in migration motives and entitlements in the UK. The findings from the qualitative interviews highlight the range of motivations and constraints that shape immigrant settlement patterns and how these change over time with secondary migration and family formation. Analysis of the labour market position of immigrants defined by country of origin and ethnicity shows the persistence of ethnic penalties in the labour market. Immigrants from ethnic minority groups both from established and new immigrant groups are found to be more disadvantaged in the labour market than white immigrants and the White British.The neighbourhood context, specifically neighbourhood deprivation and ethnic diversity, is associated with poorer employment outcomes, with the relationship between area deprivation and employment shown to depend on ethnicity. The qualitative evidence highlights the role of social networks and a range of other factors in facilitating and hindering the socio-economic integration of new immigrants. The findings, particularly in relation to immigrant social networks, access to welfare, settlement intentions and housing aspirations, challenge common perceptions about new immigrants living in deprived areas in the UK. The research evidence contributes to a better understanding of the settlement patterns and experiences of new immigration and has implications for national and local policies.

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Original languageEnglish
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Award date1 Aug 2015