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Literature regarding immigrant economic integration tends to highlight a U-shaped economic mobility pattern. Our article challenges this argument based on labor market segmentation theories and an occupational mobility analysis made from a “class structure” perspective. Data from the 2007 National Immigrant Survey in Spain was used to create mobility tables indicating immigrants’ occupational mobility fluidity from their last employment in their country of origin to their first employment in Spain (n = 7,280), and from their first employment in Spain to their current employment (n = 4,031), estimating odds ratios in order to examine the relative mobility. Two labor market segments were identified as having frequent occupational mobility within them and limited mobility outside of them. Our analysis suggests the existence of a segmented U-shaped pattern of immigrant occupational mobility.


Originally published in Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas

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