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Western immigrants earn more than Swedes

The Local · 19 Apr 2006, 16:34

Published: 19 Apr 2006 16:34 GMT+02:00

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In 2003, the average wage for native-born Swedes was 22,400 kronor a month. For immigrants from Africa, Asia or South America it was 18,500, while for immigrants from wealthy OECD countries (western Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan), the average wage was 24,600 kronor, or 110 percent of the average Swede's wage.

The pattern was mainly due to high wages among managerial or professional people from western countries. They earned on average 29,500 kronor a month, compared to 26,500 for Swedes. For people in manual or lower-ranking clerical jobs, the average wage was 18,000 for Swedes and people from OECD countries, although it was lower for people from eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

While immigrants overall have lower wages than Swedes, those who came to Sweden in the 1970s break the pattern. They earn on average 300 kronor more than native Swedes.

Erland Olausson, first Vice President of LO, said this difference was due to the reasons that people move to Sweden.

"In the 1970s we had people migrating for jobs. Today, a large proportion are refugees," he told news agency TT.

One thing that all immigrant groups had in common was that they were underrepresented on the job market. Some 80 percent of Swedish-born people were employed or self-employed in 2003, compared to 65 percent of western immigrants and 55 percent of people from Africa, Asia and South America.

Overall, 9.4 percent of people born abroad were unemployed, compared to 4 percent of Swedes.

Olauson said the lower overall wages for most immigrants was not down to discrimination, but due to the fact that many such workers were in unskilled or semi-skilled jobs.

"Discrimination occurs more often at the time of employment," he said, arguing that trade unions should have more influence over recruitment processes.

Story continues below…

Olauson also wants binding agreements between employers and unions when jobs are advertised, which set out the skills demanded by the job. He argues that this would prevent people being chosen on the basis of what they are called or where they come from.

Discuss this topic!

The Local

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:35 April 19, 2006 by Swedeofile
What the survey is leaving out is many of the people coming from Western countries are fairly well educated. And are coming with a job from their existing employer, or are moving here due to a specialty skill. So of course the statistics show this!

I would guess Sweden is mot unusual in this!
18:37 April 19, 2006 by FR
A study (not all that reliable, but anyway) in the US showed that a large percentage of immigrants in a skilled profession tended to bring wages down in that profession by about three percent. Therefore, Sweden may indeed be unusual in this.
08:41 April 20, 2006 by Edwardsson
Westerners come to Sweden for two reasons: 1) Becase they marry a Swede or 2) Job relocation by their firm. Either way you tend to have highly educated people. Third world people who come to Sweden often have little education. If they are educated they have language barriers or the Swedish educational system won't recognize their acredidations or experience.
11:03 April 20, 2006 by Kelvin Aka The Dramka
Anyone else like to challenge the figures they quoted for immigrants coming from Africa, Asia or South America had an average monthly income of 18,500 kronor. The figures just dont add up, even if there is a difference of 10-20% in wages. I just wonder where they came up with there figures. Plus Japan and South Korea shouldnt even be encluded , they are not third world at all. And last , it is the unions that have created such discrimination exercising at will to employ only swedish labor with mother toongue swedish and primary language swedish. While refusing to look at the indiviuals work history , experience and previous job performance.

This articles reaches to make a point however failed to disclose real figures . This article also failed to mention that those coming from western parts of the world come for different reasons than those from Africa, Asia, and South America.

I guess if you contiue to make up stories , you bound to eventually believe it no matter how it sounds.
15:10 January 2, 2008 by Helsingborg
Swedish companies pay less salaries to swedes. But international companies pay more. No matter what kind of work you do. Because Sweden wants to get equal salaries no matter what king of job you do.

The reason why international companies in sweden pay more is... if they do not pay them, then no one would work here. So, such companies are forced to pay to the employees more.

For example a professional swedish doctor gets 40.000 sek and pays 15.000 tax and gets 25.000 sek after tax. a swedish sweeper gets 20.000 sek, pays 5.000 tax and gets 15.000 sek after tax.

But, a person(software/ managerial position) who is working for a foreign company gets 75.000 sek and pays 35.000 tax and gets 40.000 sek per month. Same person If he would work for a swedish company then he would get 35.000 or 40.000 sek and after tax he has 22.000 or 25.000 sek. So, foreign companies cannot avoid paying less (as they do not want to loose skilled people). Swedish companies can avoid(as they just pay less) as they know they have people who speak swedish.

Generally Swedes consider salaries before tax. But foreigners always want how much they get after tax.
15:58 January 2, 2008 by Bender B Rodriquez
No, your logic makes no sense. Swedish employees get about the same salaries no matter if they work for a Swedish or a multi-national company in Sweden. A foreigner who is transfered to Sweden to work in the Swedish branch often keep his foreign salary, that's exactly why foreigners often make more than Swedes (except if you are tranfered from India or some other low wage country).
16:19 January 2, 2008 by Helsingborg
Sorry. That's not the way all the time... I understand what you are saying. But, same kind of work. If it is a multinational company and if it's a swedish company itself then swedish person gets less salary. Because he is picking a swede for the job in swedish company. Multinational company is picking a foreigner and providing job because he is unable to find a specific person. He cannot keep looking for a swede. So, he is bringing others here and making them work. A doctor who is working in USA would never work in Sweden because he is paid only 25.000 after tax. He would earn more in USA than here. But a swede would work for 25.000 after tax as a software engineer or as a doctor in swedish firms. But a foreign software engineer would never work for 25.000 sek after tax here. I think you do not know the system here very well.
21:32 January 2, 2008 by Enikkor
It reminds me of a Filipino website bragging that the Filipino-Americans who live and work in New York City

earn more than the ave. native New Yorkers.

Why? Most of them are Doctors, Nurses, Engineers,

Financial officers, Bankers, Brokers, teachers,

and business people with high education!
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