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Locating Irish Workers in the British Labour Force Survey

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posted on 2010-10-06, 14:20 authored by Henrietta O’Connor, John Goodwin
Irish migrant workers still make a significant contribution to the UK labour force, but this contribution is confined to particular occupation and industry groups. This paper begins with a brief review of the literature on Irish workers employment and an argument is developed that the work of Irish-born people in Britain is still both racialised and gendered. Then, using data from the UK Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), the work experiences of over one thousand Irish-born people in the UK are explored as a group and in comparison to UK-born workers. Findings suggest both Irish-born men and women still work in the stereotyped occupations of the past. For example, most women work in public administration and health while twenty six per cent of men work in construction. The majority of Irish-born men work in manual skilled or unskilled jobs. The paper concludes that historically there has been no real qualitative change in the way that Irish-born workers experience employment in the UK.



Centre for Labour Market Studies, Working Paper 25

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Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester

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This paper was published as Working Paper 25 by the Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester. It is also available from

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CLMS Working Papers;25



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