Immigration, Citizenship and Racialization at Work: Unpacking Employment Precarity in Southwestern Ontario
This paper examines the relationship between precarious employment, legal status, and racialization. We conceptualize legal status to include the intersections of immigration and citizenship. Using the PEPSO survey data we operationalize three categories of legal status: Canadian born, foreign-born citizens, and foreign-born non-citizens. First we examine whether the character of precarious work varies depending on legal status, and find that it does: Citizenship by birth or naturalization reduces employment precarity across most dimensions and indicators. Next, we ask how legal status intersects with racialization to shape precarious employment. We find that employment precarity is disproportionately high for racialized non-citizens. Becoming a citizen mitigates employment precarity. Time in Canada also reduces precarity, but not for non-citizens. Foreign birth and citizenship acquisition intersect with racialization unevenly: Canadian born racialized groups exhibit higher employment precarity than racialized foreign-born citizens. Our analysis underscores the importance of including legal status in intersectional analyses of social inequality.
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