The economic crisis that began in 2008 has affected migrant workers, who are mainly younger and a weak segment in the Italian labor market due to being mainly employed in low-skilled jobs. The effects of the crisis affect levels of employment, unemployment and inactivity of migrants in Italy and also working conditions (employment instability, discontinuity of income and low pay), satisfaction levels, workers’ rights, employment security and more generally living conditions and well-being. The crisis is causing an impoverishment of migrant workers and families ("working poor") and the links between work, vulnerability and poverty are becoming clearer. Using data from the Labour Force Survey by Istat the aim of the paper is provide a detailed picture of migrant workers in the Italian labor market and more specifically to investigate the impact of the economic and financial crisis. The analysis is conducted combining two different analytical perspectives of analysis, individual and household, and adopting a gender-sensitive approach. The paper is structured as follows. The 1^ section gives an indication of the research questions to be addressed, the methods used and the contribution to the academic literature. The 2^ section investigates macro-level dynamics of the labor market comparing migrants and Italians (employed, unemployed and inactive). The 3^ section includes an analysis of the occupational structure (sectors and occupations) and quality of migrant jobs. The 4^ section makes a household analysis of the distribution of work within overseas families. In the 5^ section the gender distribution of paid work in migrant families is compared with that in Italian families, with a focus on couples. Finally, in the light of the individual and household profiles of vulnerable workers identified, the paper discusses areas of analysis still poorly explored.
Keywords: Migrants and migrant families, gender gap, gender division of labour, occupational (im)mobility.