‘Newcomers in the Netherlands have difficulty finding work’

At the moment, 61 percent of people with a non-Western migration background in the Netherlands have a job. 69 percent of people without a migration background work. The differences in labor participation between people with and without a migration background are “large and persistent”, say the researchers.


Newcomers, especially asylum seekers, still face obstacles in their search for work on the labor market. For example, asylum migrants only receive support in this area after they have become a status holder. They then largely have to find their own way to language education and work.

“It pays to give this group earlier access to the labor market and to offer more guidance”, according to the CPB and SCP. It could also help, for example, to increase financial incentives such as the childcare allowance. It is believed to lead to a relatively strong rise in labor participation, especially among women with a non-Western migration background.

In addition, employer subsidies or anonymous application procedures at companies could also help to narrow the differences.

Potentially untapped

According to the organizations, a worse position in the labor market on the basis of migration background is undesirable. It is not only about income. It can also be harmful to health and the sense of belonging. It would also be better for the Dutch economy if the differences narrow. People’s potential is currently not being used, see the CPB and SCP.

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