The Immigration Yearbook: Integration Time

MIGRATIONS - Jun 1, 2012

The current economic crisis has not brought an end to immigration –and so, immigration-related problems live on. The continuity of social policies directed to the immigrant community thus becomes a key element in crisis-torn societies such as Spain. The sharp increase in immigrant unemployment in 2011 and, for the first time in many years, the negative balance between entries and departures are two of the main findings of the Immigration in Spain Yearbook--co-edited by the Diputació de Barcelona, the Fundación Ortega-Marañón and CIDOB--, whose fifth edition was presented in Madrid on May 2.


The current economic crisis has not brought an end to immigration –and so, immigration-related problems live on. The continuity of social policies directed to the immigrant community thus becomes a key element in crisis-torn societies such as Spain. The sharp increase in immigrant unemployment in 2011 and, for the first time in many years, the negative balance between entries and departures are two of the main findings of the Immigration in Spain Yearbook--co-edited by the Diputació de Barcelona, the Fundación Ortega-Marañón and CIDOB--, whose fifth edition was presented in Madrid on May 2.

The title of this year’s edition is IntegrationTime and it carries a monographic section on immigrant integration: ten studies, from a cross-cutting perspective, on the key elements for the development of an optimal integration process. As in previous editions, it offers a political, sociological, economic and legal multidisciplinary approach –in this case, to integration-related questions such as education, employment, access to public services and to housing, religious diversity, and political participation.

Overall, these studies stress the importance of maintaining integration policies in times of economic crisis, particularly within the context of what Joaquín Arango, Professor of Sociology at Complutense University in Madrid, calls “the worst year for immigration”, as drastic public expenditure cuts in 2011 severely –and in some cases fatally-- affect social programmes and services in Spain.

The Yearbook’s survey shows that the rate of increase of immigrant unemployment exceeds --for the first time-- native unemployment, in sharp contrast to previous years. Today, the immigrant unemployed in Spain total 1.5 million, 40% directly crisis-related. The average profile of an immigrant unemployed worker is that of an under-35 male, which coincides exactly with the average profile of those who decide to go back to their countries of origin. It is particularly noteworthy, as Josep Oliver, Professor of Applied Economics at the Autònoma University in Barcelona points out, that there is practically no conflict in Spain between immigrant and native labour --a phenomenon attributable to the fact that immigrant workers are employed in low-skill jobs and sectors, and thus do not directly compete with natives.

La hora de la integraciónis published by CIDOB, and its issue price is 28€.

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