The labour market experiences and strategies of young undocumented migrants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article draws on data from in-depth interviews and testimonies with 75 young undocumented migrants from Brazil, China, Kurds from Turkey, Ukraine and Zimbabwe living in England. The article provides a detailed qualitative understanding of the working lives and decision making of undocumented migrants, a group about which little is known. Sectors of employment and working conditions are explored alongside job-seeking strategies and the role of and use of social capital in job seeking. Variations in employment experiences between undocumented migrants, particularly in relation to work within or outside of the ethnic enclave, are evident from the data. Moreover, the role of narrow, usually co-ethnic and often undocumented, social networks in finding work and the intersections between job-seeking strategies and being undocumented is clear throughout the narratives. © The Author(s) 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-287
Number of pages15
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • employment
  • ethnic enclaves
  • exploitation
  • social capital
  • social networks
  • undocumented migrants


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