Before the Syrian civil war, Egyptians were the single largest migrant labor community in Jordan. Labor market pressures and changes to the Jordanian work permit system have resulted in the increasing vulnerability of Egyptian labor, who have been the primary labor force on Jordanian farms and construction sites since the late 1970s. Using new data from the 2015 Jordanian census, the 2010 and 2016 Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey, and field interviews conducted in Jordan from 2014 to 2018, I show that higher concentrations of Syrians at the subdistrict level are associated with higher rates of informal labor market participation for Egyptians. Furthermore, higher proportions of Syrians do not correlate with negative impacts on the formality or household wealth of Jordanian citizens, suggesting that Syrian labor does not directly compete with the Jordanian labor force. Given the importance of supporting host communities during refugee crises, this analysis sheds light on how mass forced migration affects other vulnerable segments of the migrant labor force in the Global South.
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