This paper is based on data from a sample survey of migrant and non-migrant households as part of a comparative China-Indonesia panel study (RUMiCI), conducted in 2008-2011. It examines occupations of employed individuals in migrant and non-migrant (NM) households based on the 2009 round of the survey. The division of work status groups adopted transcends the normal ‘formal-informal’ divide. Four groups are identified, comprising regular formal sector employees, contract employees, workers in small businesses, and informal sector workers. We find that long term migrants (LTM) tend to gravitate to the higher paid wage jobs and small business. Recent and very recent migrants were most likely to work in informal work. The occupation of the parents of LTM also influenced the jobs of their children. However, the findings on the jobs held by successive generations of migrants were less conclusive. While the children of LTM were more likely to work in the formal sector than recent migrants (who faced difficulties after the Asian Financial Crisis), they were less likely to do so than the children of NM.