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Study: Sweden 'fails' at job market integration

Study: Sweden 'fails' at job market integration

Sweden is the second worst country in Europe when it comes to labour market integration, according to a new study from Stockholm University.

Published: 19 Nov 2012 17:06 CET

“There is a lower rate of employment and higher unemployment among those who have been here for up to ten years compared to many other European countries," sociologist Ryszard Szulkin from Stockholm University told national broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR).

In the study, Sweden’s unemployment statistics were compared to those of fifteen other European countries, including Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Norway and Denmark.

27 percent of immigrant women are unemployed during the first ten years in Sweden, and 23 percent of immigrant men, putting the country almost at the bottom of the list when it comes to unemployment for new arrivals.

Only Spain has a higher unemployment rate for immigrant men and France for immigrant women.

According to Szulkin, it simply takes too long to break into the Swedish job market.

However, the study also indicated that something happens after ten years at which point Sweden fares better in comparison with the other countries.

The unemployment rate then drops to 11 percent for both women and men.

One explanation for the lengthy integration period in Sweden could be that the country accepts more refugees than the other countries included in the country.

These in turn, accept a larger number of labour immigrants.

According to Szulkin, it does take longer for refugees to establish themselves in the labour market if they don’t have jobs waiting for them when they arrive.

However, despite this, the study shows that Sweden is not entirely successful in its integration policy.

“That they don’t have job after five to six years in the country is of course a failure,” Szulkin told SR.

When reached by The Local for comment on the report, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Integration said officials at the ministry had not yet had a chance to review Szulkin's findings.

Earlier this month, a government report found that Somali immigrants in Sweden have a harder time finding jobs compared to Somalis in the United States and Canada.

The report cited Sweden's rigid labour market, language, and a lack of involvement by community-based organizations in the integration process.

TT/The Local/rm

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