An examination of the employment structure of Taiwanese immigrants in Australia

N. Chiang, Liang-Wen Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Taiwanese emigration has reached a considerable level in the last ten years, with 20,0000 to 25,0000 annually heading for major destinations such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Rapid economic growth, political instability, increased personal income, and relaxation of travel restrictions since 1989 are behind this increase. Particularly for Australia, the introduction of economic and business migration policies attracted skilled and entrepreneurial groups. This study examined the employment structure of the Taiwan-born in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the top destinations of Taiwanese immigrants in Australia. Unpublished census data for the years 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1996, supplemented by data from a survey of Taiwanese immigrants in the three cities, provided data for the study. Findings suggest that the employment rate of Taiwanese immigrants is among the lowest of all immigrant groups. Taiwanese men tend to be more economically successful than Taiwanese women in income levels, occupational status, and labor force participation. Most Taiwanese immigrants in Australia experience downward social mobility due to factors such as unaccredited overseas qualifications, the lack of English proficiency and local knowledge, and other institutional discriminatory factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-481
Number of pages23
JournalAsian and Pacific Migration Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000

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