How long does it take to get a job?
Some background about this question:
- Because of the downturn in the U.S. economy, it may take longer than usual to find a job.
- A recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO)1 reported that most resettlement agencies stated that it’s taking longer than usual, often as long as 6 months, and in some cases 9-10 months for refugees to find jobs.
- The report also noted that U.S. resettlement officials and resettlement agencies stated that without jobs, some refugees are unable to get by on the levels of assistance afforded by the U.S. refugee resettlement program.
- Iraqi refugees, in particular, have faced difficulties finding work despite their relatively high levels of education, according to PRM (State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration), ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement), and USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service) officials, and representatives from the resettlement agencies.
- According to an ORR official and resettlement agency officials, the U.S. resettlement program does not take into account refugees` prior work experience and education in job placements. Rather, the focus of the program is on securing early employment for refugees.
- PRM data indicate that many Iraqi refugees who were resettled in the United States in fiscal years 2007 through 2009 reported having some secondary education. PRM, ORR, and the resettlement agencies reported that educated Iraqis are struggling to find entry-level employment in the United States, much less employment in their professional field of work.
- For example, three Iraqi refugees were interviewed about their experience searching for employment in the United States. Two had worked for the U.S. government in Iraq, and one was unable to find an entry-level position requiring no formal education. This individual estimated that he had applied for more than 30 low-skill jobs, such as for a busboy and cleaner, before his former U.S. supervisor in Iraq helped him find a job.1
- Recent articles:
- Iraqis in San Diego:
- Iraqi Refuge: Networking for Newcomers 101, Fronteras, by Jill Replogle, 11/2/2011
- Iraqi Refuge: Not Enough Help for Growing Population, Fronteras, by Jill Reploge, 11/4/2011
- Iraqis in Massachusetts, Iraqi refugees seek job skills; Language is biggest barrier, Worcester Telegram and Gazette, by Steven Foskett, 9/5, 2011
- “Iraqi Refugees and Special Immigrant Visa Holders Face Challenges Resettling in the United States and Obtaining U.S. Government Employment,” by the GAO, March 2010 [↩] [↩]
One more idea:
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