In this paper, we examine the existence and development of the ‘refugee gap’: the difference in labour market participation rates between refugees and other types of migrants. Using the cumulative disadvantage hypothesis, we studied whether the ‘refugee entry effect’ scars refugees for their working careers in the Netherlands. To do so, we used register data (Social Statistical Database), containing information on all refugees who received refugee status in the Netherlands between 1995 and 1999 (N = 33,030). We compared their labour market participation over the 2000–2011 period with that of labour and family migrants in the same cohort (N = 78,298). We conclude that the ‘refugee gap’ exists at the start of refugees working career in the Netherlands and that it diminishes over time.