Immigrants ‘marginalized’ on job market

Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt has played down the latest unemployment figures, saying that the number of jobs being created is too few. The opposition has also criticized the fact that unemployment among immigrants is actually rising.

Swedish labour market board AMS said on Monday that 7.4 percent of the working-age population was unemployed or in labour market programmes in August, a slight fall both compared to August 2005. The figure for ‘open unemployment’ was 4.6 percent.

Reinfeldt told The Local that the figures were still unsatisfactory.

“After years of losing jobs, we are now gaining a few, but the question is are they lasting, and are the figures confused by lots of labour market programmes?”

“I am very sure that we are not getting the job creation that we should be given the booming economy we have at the moment. We know that as soon as the booming economy goes away, we will lose a lot of jobs. We should be creating even more jobs than we are now.”

The Moderates point out that unemployment among immigrant groups was up compared to one year ago.

The party points out that open unemployment among foreign-born people was 6.3 percent in 2002. In July 2006 it was 10.9 percent – nearly twice as high.

“We have the job creation policies that the government lacks. If you give us a bit of time we will create more jobs, and we will make it possible for people who are standing outside the labour market to come in, because that is not really happening now,” said Reinfeldt.