Ethnic Small Business and Employment Creation in Australia in the 1990s
|Date of publication:||December 1996|
|Working paper number:||71|
NESB immigrants continue to bear the greatest burden of economic recession and economic restructuring in Australia in the 1990s. Some, like the Vietnamese and Lebanese, continue to have rates of unemployment four to five times the national average. There is the danger of the emergence of an underclass of economically disadvantaged and socially-isolated immigrants. Given continued downsizing by the corporate and public sector, the best hope of jobs for these NESB immigrants is the ethnic small business sector. In the Australian immigration debate, the economic contribution of immigrant small businesses - and the potential they have in creating jobs, wealth and export growth in comming years - seems to have been underestimated. This paper draws on original research generated by surveys of more than 1000 ethnic small businesses in Australia. It explores in detail the relationship between ethnic small businesses and employment growth. It argues that innovative strategies designed to increase both the rate of ethnic small business formation and the success of existing ethnic small businesses will strengthen the Australian economy in general and employment creation in particular. It also shows that Asian immigrants in small business in Australia predict the greatest employment growth potential and the most significant trading growth of all Australian small businesses. Moreover, the research shows that one half of all ethnic entrepreneurs surveyed had come to Australia under the family reunion and refugee categories. This provides a strong economic argument for continued family and refugee immigration to Australia.
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Hugo, G., 2013, "The Economic Contribution of Humanitarian Settlers in Australia", International Migration, forthcoming.
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