In this paper, we examine the extent to which the employment histories of Central and Eastern EU (CEE) labour migrants exhibit patterns of temporary, circular or settlement migration. We expect to find these diverse and changeable patterns following the phenomenon of ‘New European Migration’. By distinguishing between working patterns we are able to describe actual migration behaviour to the destination country more accurately. We use wage data to track a cohort of all employees who worked in the Netherlands in June 2010, for a period of five years. Our findings show that the majority of CEE labour migrants stopped working as employees in the Netherlands within five years, mostly after an uninterrupted single period of employment. In addition, a third of CEE labour migrants engage in settlement migration, working continuously in the Netherlands for a long period. Only a very small proportion can be considered as circular migrants. This contradicts our expectations regarding New European Migration, that there would be fewer labour migrants with uninterrupted periods of work and more labour migrants working for shorter periods.

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Keywords Labour migrants, migration patterns, New European Migration, Central and Eastern EU countries, the Netherlands
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Journal Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Strockmeijer, A., de Beer, P, & Dagevos, J.M. (2019). Should I stay or should I go? What we can learn from working patterns of Central and Eastern European labour migrants about the nature of present-day migration. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. doi:10.1080/1369183X.2018.1562326