Work experiences of Chinese migrants : impact on family wellbeing : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies in Human Resource Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
Immigration has rapidly increased throughout the world, especially from developing to developed countries. Through immigration, most people are searching for better career opportunities, better economic outcomes, and a pleasant environment. For a relatively long time, Australia, the United States of America, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand are ranked as the top popular destinations.
New Zealand is renowned as a country of immigrants, and the numbers entering are
increasing annually. While Europeans used to dominate the early waves of immigration, more recently, especially after the commencement of the points system for skilled migrants, more people are coming from Asian countries, such as China, Korea, Southeast Asia, and India.
China, in particular, had been a significant contributor to the inflow of migrants to New Zealand. The Chinese workforce is becoming a critical part of the current labor market in New Zealand (Badkar &Tuya, 2010). Unlike many other Asian countries,
those from mainland China do not have English as a key language, which has been the top barrier for Chinese migrants’ employment and settlement in New Zealand. Underemployment has become a collective experience for many Chinese migrants
throughout New Zealand.
The current study replicated a study that examined the work experiences of Asian immigrants in New Zealand (Sobrun-Maharaj, Rossen, & Kim, 2011), with some changes that have been made.
To conduct this research, a 30-45mins qualitative semi-structured interview was undertaken with each participant and were content analyzed. The results showed that a large portion of new Chinese migrants was experiencing underemployed or
have the experience of being underemployed. The experience of underemployment has generated many negative effects on their psychological and physical health. Besides, those adverse effects may not only constraint on an individual level but also
extend to their families and the social context of their families. However, many factors may have an impact on how people value and adjust to the status of underemployment, such as previous working experience, their motivation for immigration, which may either weaken or even eliminate those negative impacts.
The current study hoped to get a whole picture of the impact of underemployment of new Chinese migrants in the Auckland labor market on their family wellbeing. It had provided significant implications for new migrants, employers, communities, government, and further researchers. Even though the underemployment of new migrants is not a new topic, there is still a broad-scale research agenda need to study. More rigorous design and complex models should be applied for future studies.
Longitudinal research designs, as well as family studies, can also be designed to examine the broader and more prolonged effects of underemployment.