How do refugees economically cope in host countries where they have no legal right to work? Most Southeast Asian countries have not ratified the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention. This implies that many refugees in this region do not enjoy any protection from the law, do not possess the legal right to work, and often resort to participation in dirty, dangerous, and demeaning jobs in order to make ends meet. In this paper, we study Rohingya refugees working as construction workers in the informal economy in Peninsular Malaysia by employing a mixed methods methodology. Specifically, we utilize micro-level survey data collected from a representative population of 314 Rohingya refugee workers in the construction industry, as well as in-depth interviews conducted with a subset of 77 of the survey respondents. Using the survey data, we first provide an overview of the social and economic lives of our respondents by summarizing key variables such as demographics, integration measures, and healthcare access. We then utilize regression analysis to understand the relationships between these variables. The key quantitative finding is that Rohingya refugees in the construction industry earn significantly above minimum wage in Malaysia (albeit less than their legal counterparts), and significantly more than their earnings prior to arriving in Malaysia. This is true even after adjusting for purchasing power. We then conduct a thematic analysis on the qualitative data obtained through the interviews to understand the dimensions of employment for the respondents. We find that although the construction industry in Peninsular Malaysia has provided Rohingya refugees with the means to escape poverty, they still face a tremendous amount of precarity and uncertainty in their lives.