Effects of a limited liberalisation of labour market accesss for Asylumseekers on the Austrian labour market

Persons migrating to Austria for asylum reasons have an exceptionally high share of intermediary qualifications, although this share has reduced in recent cohorts. Among these persons those that have only migrated recently and women are noticeably disadvantaged relative to other migrant groups in terms of labour market integration. In the years 2006 to 2014 only 2,840 asylum seekers obtained a work permit as seasonal worker or casual farm labourer. Mostly asylum seekers obtained only one work permit in this period and the average duration of employment in these permits was around 120 days. The work permits are also noticeably concentrated on asylum seekers from former Yugoslavia and Turkey. The potential wage, distributional and substitution effects of a more generous regulation on labour market access of asylum seekers should be small. The only relevant effect seems to be an increase in the unemployment rate, which – under the assumptions made – increases by 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points in the short run and should reduce (albeit very slowly) thereafter.