At the height of the 2015 refugee crisis in Europe there have been numerous arguments over the economic utility of arriving asylum seekers. On one hand of the spectrum, representatives of the left wing were claiming that most of the refugees are skilled workers and would be quickly absorbed into the economy. Meanwhile representatives of the right wing were claiming that the incoming immigrants are going to be forever dependent on welfare and would never find a proper job.

Now that it's been more than 3 years since the peak of the crisis and the refugees have had a reasonable amount of time to settle into their new home, do we have any statistics on the number of asylum seekers who are no longer receiving welfare? As a corollary, are there statistics on the number of refugees who are gainfully employed?

  • Most of the asylum requests in Germany were actually filed in 2016 thelocal.de/20171215/… – Fizz Apr 14 '19 at 23:07
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    Note that in most countries, while the asylum application is in progress, you are not allowed to work. – pjc50 Apr 15 '19 at 8:26

I suppose this a partial answer, for lack of something better... TheLocal.de said in Dec 2017 (using a proxy measure) that unemployment among refugees was 45%:

Research by the OECD suggests that refugees in Europe tend to lag behind the native populations in terms of employment. A 2014 report found that refugee employment rates are around 20 percent lower than those for native populations with similar educational backgrounds.

Germany does not collect job figures on refugees. But statistics for citizens of the eight most significant countries of origin for refugees give approximate data. This shows employment levels much lower than among the general population. Whereas just five percent of Germans were unemployed in September, 45 percent of people from these eight countries were not in employment.

The Federal Job Agency notes that "poor language skills and a lack of formal training make it difficult for refugees to integrate into the job market", warning that "a deep breath is needed" in overcoming these problems.

The good news is that the proportion of refugees who are registered as unemployed dropped by 7.4 percent in a year (although most of these people have gone into further education courses rather than employment).

German employers who have hired refugees have been pleased with the work they have done. An OECD survey carried out earlier this year with over 2,000 employers found that around 80 percent were satisfied with the work done by refugees in their employment.

It also notes that in order to obtain permanent residence they would have to get off welfare (and show proficiency in German). Presumably that's the carrot.

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    Given the prevalence of mini jobs in Germany, simply being employed does not equal to being off welfare, unfortunately. – JonathanReez Apr 15 '19 at 0:41

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