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Sweden risks facing severe labour shortages

The Local · 22 Dec 2009, 15:48

Published: 22 Dec 2009 15:48 GMT+01:00

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Unemployment is sweeping across Sweden in the wake of the financial crisis and the international fall in demand. Yet if we want to sustain welfare in this country in the long term, it is precisely now that we need to launch a campaign to attract more immigrants to the Swedish labour market. The Swedish employment sector’s ability to adapt to changing conditions is limited. The Swedish Migration Board publishes a regular list of labour shortages showing which kinds of jobs are most in demand. It contains all kinds from casualty department nurses and bakers to dentists and sanitary engineers.

Next year, for the first time, young people entering the labour market will be fewer in number than retirees. And for each year after that, new pensioners will exceed young labour market newcomers by about 2,000. Over the next ten years, the Swedish-born population of working age will decline by 100,000. In Europe as a whole, the working-age population will decline by 40 million over the next 40 years. Consequently, a number of European countries have embarked on recruitment drives of various kinds – but not so Sweden, until now.

Basically, increased welfare and prosperity means more people working in an increasingly productive way. In a report to the Swedish Government’s Globalisation Council last year, research scientist Philippe Legrain observed that increased immigration could help finance the welfare state by boosting economic growth. Without more fortune-seeking immigrants, we will be unable to meet the challenges facing the welfare system, particularly as regards caring for the elderly.

If we let the population shrink, welfare standards will decline. Apparently, Sweden’s municipalities and regions have now realised this. Almost all Swedish regions have set population targets that emphasise growth. The Greater Gothenburg area wants to have a population of 1.5 million in just ten years’ time. Stockholm wants to have 600,000 more inhabitants over the next 20 years.

Traditional out-migration counties such as Gotland and Norrbotten are also going for growth. They are on the right track – Paul Krugman was awarded last year’s Nobel Prize for Economics for demonstrating how labour influx boosts a region’s productivity and strengthens its economic position.

Naturally, we must take advantage of the labour reserve we have in Sweden: retraining, relocation, courses adapted to labour market needs etc. But that won’t be enough. And it would be unwise to think we can eliminate bottlenecks in the labour market simply by taking measures to help today’s unemployed.

A distinguishing feature of Swedish immigration policy over the past 40 years or so has been a relatively generous attitude towards refugees and virtually a total rejection of labour immigrants. Almost exactly a year ago, Sweden introduced new legislation on labour immigration. This may prove highly beneficial. Most of those who move to Sweden are aged 20–30 and have been educated in their country of origin. So far, however, labour immigration has had little impact.

Future demographic considerations are not the only reason why we should make it easier for people to come to Sweden to work. There is much to suggest that immigrants improve our trade relations with the world around us.

International migration hastens the globalisation process. People acquire valuable networks of contacts. When trained people from other countries work for a period in a country like Sweden, both parties benefit. Those who come here gain valuable experience and acquire skills, networks and income, which in turn often benefits their families and native countries. In describing the advantages of academic mobility, the UNDP no longer talks about ’brain drain’ but about ’brain gain’. Each year, some 31,000 foreign students are to be found at Swedish universities. If some of them stay and work here, Sweden gains.

Almost a quarter of the 300-odd Americans awarded Nobel prizes over the years came to the US as immigrants. Swedes don’t always possess the best ideas – these develop in the interaction between different outlooks and approaches. Diversity, such as we find in New York or Berlin, is a magnet that attracts talent.

At the Government’s request, the Swedish Institute is now marketing Sweden as an attractive employment destination. A feature of this drive is a new website, Workinginsweden.se, which guides potential immigrants into the Swedish labour market step by step and tells them what to expect in Sweden.

A number of studies show Sweden to be an attractive place for people wishing to work or study in another country. The labour market is one aspect, of course, but the picture is broader than that: Sweden must become a country known for its good schools and its good environment, for its lively cultural scene and for its safety and security as a place to live. Many advantages need to be identified to offset the December darkness.

The website and the coordination of efforts by various agencies and organisations to reach foreign job-seekers is part of a broad-based offensive that includes the government-run project Kosmopolit and is designed to promote trade by exploiting the skills of people born abroad. Job fairs in Asia are packed with European government representatives seeking to recruit key labour. It’s time for Sweden to join in.

Olle Wästberg, Director-General of the Swedish Institute

Story continues below…

This is a translated version of an article published by the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet. Translation: Stephen Croall.


The web portal Workinginsweden.se provides a step-by-step guide to the Swedish migration process, which has become a lot easier for non-EU/EEA citizens due to new rules in Sweden. The portal also describes some of the advantages of a work life in Sweden. Workinginsweden.se is produced, operated and developed by the Swedish Institute.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:34 December 22, 2009 by nielsl
I were one of these 'students', but didn't stay after my 2 years in Sweden. However, I have serious plans to migrate from NL to SE. I think already a lot of municipalities are active in NL, especially those from Varmland. However, being a IT/Enterprise systems guy I will probably need to move to some bigger cities. I think Sweden has a better chance to attract population than NL has.
17:18 December 22, 2009 by gmaddalo
I don´t think Sweden would have chances to attract more foreigners considering the last scandal on different treatments between foreigners and Swedes in research. the reputation of Sweden is seriously falling down about fairness. There is no time for this country to look at itself in the mirror and pretend that razism does not exist here. IT DOES! If this country wants to SURVIVE must face this problem at once otherwise nobody soon would be so keen to come here and the population might shrink and the country with its walfare die. Swdeden is not a big country like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, there are just 9 mln people!
19:26 December 22, 2009 by seymourir
It seems to me this will not reach the right ears. while a considerable number of foreign students, who study here and contribute to Sweden in every aspect, try hard to find a job and a place to stay, the policies are not in favor of educated and young talented foreign students. You bring normally uneducated immigrants here, and pay them to conform and adopt the Swedish culture. Would not better and more logical to integrate and open the door for those students who have been here studying and give them priority in becoming Swedish citizens. They contribute far greater than uneducated people!
19:40 December 22, 2009 by davidz
hello all

I am a (unproud) italian businessman (with conservative background) and i moved to sweden few years ago, i can only say i found a place that i can and feel to call home (in its fullest meaning) i will never go back to italy which i call hell on earth despite happy stereotypes which by the way are myths sweden and swedes are the best you can get on this dying planet of values and true happiness (integration problems pointed to muslims are unfair and politically used, almost nobody knew or felt the "muslim threat" prior 9/11).

i have read this article and wish to share with all of you i had tears not as immigrant but as a human being


(by the way if you really want to visit a pure racist country i can show you the way sounds horrible? unfortunatly reality is far far worse.

Im free and im happy, really hope the same to all of you merry christmas and happy new year

ps. i came not as a wealthy businessman i started all over from 0 without anyhelp but the feeling of a country that welcomed me and did not restrain my creativity and my will to DO, deserves to be payed back likewise thanks sweden my country
20:34 December 22, 2009 by arslan11
When you see completely non-educated, ignorant blacks and arabs asylum seekers given money and other priorities... On the other hand you cant get swedish id as student to collect your mail. You cant have more then one bank account etc.. Even in UK, students are given facility of credit cards etc by banks..

You see dull swedish teachers giving preference to dull swedish students.. Then you start thinking to move to New-Zealand, Australia or Canada as soon as you finish your studies and all resources paid by Sweden on that student are wasted..
20:57 December 22, 2009 by hellfare
yeah you are right my swedish friends. you must work a bit more

to show Sweden as an attractive place to live and work. You're doing your job great,

except that you don't know when I finish my 40+ working week and go to a bar

to chill out, how am I being treated by the blondies there, only because I'm a foreigner and I'm not blond. Totally being ignored, not even having a basic grown up human's behavior to at least get to know who the hell is this guy approaching me.... Does this mean you are superior to me and ignore me??

If I'm not to be considered "worthy enough" to form a social circle here and meet new ppl and date the girls, and if you think I'm a working horse for you, you are way fuc***** wrong my friends. I'm already in the process of getting residency from Australia or Canada and never to look back here.
21:59 December 22, 2009 by efm
Sweden realized their mistake. It needs educated, hardworking labour immigrants to contribute to it's success. But the problem is that, the local Swedish culture and people are so narrowminded, nativistic, exclusive and unwelcoming of others, hateful, bias and rude as well.

No they are not reserved, they are rude!

So, looks like things are not going to be well here.
00:26 December 23, 2009 by glamshek
Being an immigrant student when you go to any office for job, first question they ask is about Swedish Language. Next, do you have work permit? 3rd when you go to migration office for work permit, they in turn ask, 'do you have job?' Whats this. Running in a circle from one office to another just to come back to the same place from where you started. Why this circumlocution?Swedes have a good English. If working on streets and interacting with old Swedes does not require Swedish then why do educated people in office require Swedish? So please first control this racism and then talk about something productive.
01:54 December 23, 2009 by waspy
There are a lot of comment here about how Swedes must change to make the non-Swedish people happy.


Why should they try to make life better for you.

It will just encourage more non-Europeans to migrate to Sweden and change Sweden's culture and ethnic identity.

It would not be wise for Sweden to be more welcoming of non-Europeans.

Ihope Sweden chooses its immigrants carefully if it does decide to let more people in.

Immigrant Employment rates in Sweden after 10 years:

07:20 December 23, 2009 by thelionking

No its immigrants do try to please Swedes!!

..Why should they try to make life better for you.

- so instead you make it Hell? Only you end up making it hell for yourselves too, poetic justice.

..It will just encourage more non-Europeans to migrate to Sweden and change Sweden's culture and ethnic identity.

- Sweden's culture has never stood still, otherwise you would still be raiding foreign lands. Looting and piloging as in viking days. And would 'nt have Zlatan. duh

..It would not be wise for Sweden to be more welcoming of non-Europeans.

- Is that your ONLY safety net, that you are European? PLEASE...The article is about skills, if you cant count, you cant count. Joe Bloggs from Canada should be very welcome to your job because it needs someone that can count!! duh..
09:11 December 23, 2009 by Staffs
Of course, no politician will ever say the answer is to allow older people to keep working, lower taxes, shed 50% of government make believe jobs and lower the immigration rate.

Immigrants get older too. This dash for constant growth is madness, but of course our ponzi fiat currency fractional reserve banking system would collapse without constant credit growth, as it is now.

The answer is not more immigration.
10:26 December 23, 2009 by Rogerenden
skilled immigrants? why not!

but they should come from an area with at last nearly similar "cultural background" as the swedish, so ("core")europe, north america... you can integrate them/they can integrate more easy.

author writes about "globalisation" - well, other countries have similar problems. so why chose sweden instead of norway or even canada, if you're skilled enough? immigration won't be the amazing solution, but you can improve the situation with lower taxes and allow(not require) older people to work. there are probably more good ways.
10:27 December 23, 2009 by DreEstwd
Waspy is absolutely right. Stop your bitching and learn the d\\amn language. It might take a few years but it will be worth it. A lot of doors will open up for you. It's easy to see that some Middle Eastern immigrants have chimed in on the thread because they expect Sweden to conform to them. Sorry, folks. Integrate or get losf.
12:50 December 23, 2009 by EtoileBrilliant
Am I missing the point. This country has a "real" unemployment rate of 25% (if you include people being retrained), wouldn't it be preferable to retrain those people on the unemployment queues rather than call out for immigrants?
15:34 December 23, 2009 by mkvgtired
@Waspy, "It would not be wise for Sweden to be more welcoming of non-Europeans"

As the article states this is a Europe-wide problem, "In Europe as a whole, the working-age population will decline by 40 million over the next 40 years." Sweden needs outside immigrants if it wants to maintain the average standard of living. That being said, Sweden can be selective. Put welfare restrictions on new immigrants and force them to learn what it means to be Swedish.
16:01 December 23, 2009 by efm
Non Europeans? not welcome. Only people of same cultural background? Is that a hidden code for "whites only?

YOu Swedes are a bunch of hypocritical, narrowminded

prejudiced people.

Then go ahead, let's see what happen in 20-40 years.

Sweden will be like SAAB.
16:53 December 23, 2009 by Tangobit
Well this is true that Sweden will need foreign workers in future. As far as racism is considered I guess people who are complaining have never been to real racist countries. For those complaining about girls ignoring them; it's natural that people don't feel comfortable with you unless they know you. Try talking with an Arab girl or with a Persian girl or with a Latin girl; all of them will act same. This is more a matter for feeling safe than racism. I go out I ignore people who ignore me I always have nice time and I rock where ever I go.

Are Swedes racist as a whole? No…am a Muslim and last Christmas I was with a Swedish family and all of them were so happy to find me with them; even their Murmur welcomed me. They invited me and I respected their invitation; I gave respect and got respect.

As far as integration is concerned, to me integration doesn't mean adapting to a certain culture, it means respecting all the culture as they are. That's what's called multi-culturalism. People who come from other countries don't get to know locals and start complaining about them. They just forget how things are towards foreigners in their native countries.

And to those who are complaining about teachers should look at their own attitude in classrooms. I have done my masters in Swedish university and it has been the most wonderful experience. In my own country teachers had some favorite students in class and towards others they were just same. And that's natural though not ideal.

So what I see is people just complain out of ignorance or their own frustrations that they groom for unreal and supernatural expectations that they develop when they move to Europe.

As far as attitudes of foreigners are concerned its more related with their economical background and personal development in their countries. People from poor economies act same way whether they come from Eastern Europe or Asia or middle East or wherever.

Please try to see things in perspective and then complain. What are you giving to the society from which you are expecting more than what you have ever been given by the society where you were born. Don't be ungrateful and don't ever think that just moving to another prosperous country means change of fate overnight and over flight. It takes time and effort to set in a culture, in a society and in a new economy. Do good have good.
18:36 December 23, 2009 by waqar_ahmad
The Sweden is a closed and conservative society. They have to change their attitude towards immigrants in order to face the challenges stated in this article. If English is a second language in sweden, then nobody should be asked to know swedish to get a job. The blunder mistake which sweden is going to make is to impose fees on foreign students. I think this way Sweden will be depleted of foreign students which are presently an asset to labor market. The sweden is actually pushing out the expert, educated and skilled foreigners by tightening the rules of resident permit but on the other hand spoiling their society by welcoming asylem seekers. The majority of asylem seekers are illiterate, unsocial and non skilled, those who have no place even in their own society. The Swedish people I think don't understand the reality like the society here is not open, the weather is boring, it is not rich like Norway/Denmark, companies like SAAB have been closed and Chinese companies are more competitive as compared to Ericsson. The swedes have to understand it and change their attitude towards foreigners. Most of the intelligent and skilled people come from Asia and Swedes have negative attitude towards them, then how to overcome these challenges.
18:57 December 23, 2009 by Swedesmith
Tangobit, you are proving me wrong and I don't mind one bit! If more immigrants had your attitude, there would be no problem at all.
19:38 December 23, 2009 by Greg in Canada
If Sweden really does need immigrants then it needs skilled people who are willing and wanting to work as well as integrate into the mainstream society. Creating isolated Muslim or other ethnic suburbs will not solve your problem.
19:52 December 23, 2009 by waspy

"Sweden needs outside immigrants if it wants to maintain the average standard of living. "

Will the quality of life be better in the future if Sweden boosts its economy by importing millions of people?

Please weigh the potential positives and potential negatives.

The potential increase in GDP, if there is even going to be an increase of GDP, might not be enough to balance the negative aspects of millions of people migrating into Sweden.

There is the loss of space, the loss of homogeneity, the introduction of social strife, the increase in traffic, etc..

I don't think immigration has benefited white British people in Britain, especially in London where they are now a minority of young people, and I don't think it will benefit Sweden if the number of immigrants is large.

It might be better to accept a lower level of GDP than to radically change Sweden culturally and ethnically.
20:36 December 23, 2009 by .viking.warrior.
Yet another lying Marxist crock of ....

We needed no one to come here 20 years ago and we need no come here one now.

Just more Marxist propaganda to flood this country with thier ideological rubbish.
06:21 December 24, 2009 by mkvgtired
I agree that emulating the UK would be a huge mistake. I was talking about educated people (or people willing to be educated). Sweden needs to be selective so it has enough human capital to keep its high tech industries running.
15:20 December 24, 2009 by Beynch
The problem is not immigration per se. Sweden, and many other European countries need immigrants to sustain their futures. The problem is non-contributing, leaches, (sometimes referred to as 'asyyyyyylum seekers`, although very few with true claims of asylum) sucking taxpayers dry, demanding that we adjust to their third-world, minaret building, spitting-on-the-floor, ways. I wish to go on written recortds as supporting structured immigration. Not the social democratic, society ruining, fiasco of opening the gates and warehousing them in the suburbs and hoping for the best. To all decent participants in this forum. Merry Christmas. To the rest of you politally correct serfs, pick your Holiday.'Happy Winter Solstice'? Does that meet with your approval?
16:05 December 24, 2009 by garate
@waqar ahmad

Very interesting comment you post. The Swedish society is conservative and closed, no doubt about that.

IN my opinion, this is strongly correlated to the contemporary government. The independent approach as Sweden follows, mainly boils down to refusing the Euro, will make the country worse off in the end, because which company will invest in Sweden if there is less currency risk exposure within the Eurozone.

Second, the current law regarding job security hampers the development of young development as well. Once you get a fixed employment, you must be pledging some serious fraud before you can get fired.

This leads to the fact that employers transfer the risk of getting stuck with incompetent employees at recruitment agency, which in itself a more expensive solution than direct contracts ofcourse (unless the employee works against a minimum wage).

Thirdly, family-friendly policies are extremely important in Sweden, which is not a bad thing in itself. However, having half a day off before a 'red day', the immense amount of time spend in the local "fika room" doesn't enhance the productivity of the firms. 'The contrast between the low-salary countries like in South-East Asia and the ineffectivity in Sweden will only get larger in that case.

It is definitely no coincidence that firms like Saab and Ericsson really go through a hard time. The attitude towards productivity, ambition and the EU really has to change, in case Sweden wants to be seen as a knowledge economy, outperforming in the technology industry, in the future.
22:50 December 24, 2009 by particle
hello everyone.

i am international student and in my obersation the policies of swedish goverment are stupid towards students and immigrants. i have seen so many students who are well educated and full of new ideas and excited about this new land of swedent and expect that they will get equal oppertunities and they will be treated equally but when they see that no matter how highily educated they are the society is not going to accept then they get a shock and fly away to new nations and lands who are more willing to accept them. i had a friend he was genious he socred VG grades in all subjects including his research thesis in masters but despite his hard strugle for one year he could not get any good job or even PHD he is now managing a company in the UK same one applied for jobs from sweden in Hong Kong and he is a university lecturer and when he was in sweden he was cleaning dishes in a restruant. i often talk to him he says though he earns little less that he could earn in Sweden but he is happy he has his self respect intact he has great peace of mind that his telent and abalities are being used in good way.

and i agree with him why live in sweden just for sake of living?? i also ask myself a question did i spent 6 best years of my life in universities for cleaning jobs? or for doing dishes??? no way.

i did not

i love sweden and i feel very connected to this wounderful land but the way many people look at me here just becuase i am a forgner and dont have blod hair. that has borken my heart and makes me feel so sad.
01:58 December 25, 2009 by CatGirl
At the Government's request, the Swedish Institute is now marketing Sweden as an attractive employment destination. HAHAHA!!

I'm an unemployed American tech writer. I have been unemployed for 7 months now. When I go to interviews I see Swedes writing manuals and they can barely write in English. I am not a perfectionist but I can't understand why perfectly good English and American tech writers are passed over in favor of hiring a Swedish tech writer if the job requires fluent English.

I haven't had a permanent job in 6 years either and I am very hard working, I work overtime, arrive to work on time and I am never sick.

I have lived in Sweden for 14 years and it has been a pure struggle. I could write a book about my experiences and it would not be so positive. I do agree that Sweden has issues related to racism and I have experienced some of it first hand. Before Sweden allows others in it should really look in the mirror, admit to its racist tendencies in the job market, business, real estate market, etc and make some major adjustments. I really think Sweden needs the right to work law

which forces employers to hire a percentage of immigrants. This is the only way true integration will happen.

I am on the verge of giving up and might ask my relatives to help me find a job in New York or somewhere in New England. I am completely frustrated American living here. I am intelligent, well educated and hard working and I just can't find a job here.

Sometimes I really wonder, is it the way I look, am I too dark? too old? What?

I think there is a lot of talk about integration but NO ACTION!!! C'MON Sweden JUST DO IT!!!
05:26 December 25, 2009 by waspy

"I really think Sweden needs the right to work law which forces employers to hire a percentage of immigrants."

You think Swedish employers should be required by law to discriminate against Swedes in favor of immigrants?

That doesn't help the Swedish people.

You Swedes who are in favor of immigration need to pay attention to her comment.

You might think of immigrants as people who only do the jobs that the natives won't do but when the immigrant numbers rise you may be forced to give up some of the jobs that many Swedes are already doing in order to meet ethnic quotas.

You'll probably see this happen first with government jobs.
05:31 December 25, 2009 by Weekend_warrior
From what I read, they seemed to be talking about increased immigration of skilled workers for the labour market. Not refugee's (they did tighten up their once generous policy in that regard).

Sweden is not the only place facing these issues, Both the United States and especially China (after their one child policy) have a large elderly population that will be leaving the workforce in the next two decades. As a 25 year old banker, I welcome it on both fronts. For the job market and for all those who need to get their retirements in order :P

The big concern with China, is with their decreased workforce, whether or not they can keep up the production demand for the world. Further, I imagine Sweden is much more vulnerable than the USA to a depleted workforce, but I have said for a number of years now that Sweden will not be able to continue the road they are on. I think even with increased immigration there will be a great reduction in benefits from the State alongside decreased taxes and more privatization (albeit at a slower pace then the former)
06:10 December 25, 2009 by heu
This is funny. The country is going to face labour shortages and yet the government wants to impose tuition fee at university for immigrants. Now that's just plain stupid.

"Keep away the skilled immigrants! Bring more stupid ones!"
06:43 December 25, 2009 by hio
There is scope for employment everywhere.It is not a matter of concern.Important is to identify the sectors that will foster growth,and more important is to identify the area which is still unexplored and which has not been the priority before.Automatically things will rebound.Say for example ,Sony Ericsson mobile company.It declared job cut.But can it dispense with the people who are essential?This is an age of survival of the fittest and for the right person there is plenty of scope even in employent area.One has to come up to that level.
11:48 December 25, 2009 by himilo
I suprised negative and racist people comments on the local.se is this caused by immigrants comming to sweden? NO this is global failure. so please stop bad comments to immigrants. if there is job in the market no one would like to wait and recieve 3000 kr for what you called SFI course for 3 years.

12:54 December 25, 2009 by Staffs
20:36 December 23, 2009 by .viking.warrior.

Viking Warrior - absolutely hit the nail on the head.

Deliberate policy to destroy the West from within. Research the Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism, pure evil.
13:03 December 25, 2009 by Marc the Texan
Rising labor shortage??? You gotta be kidding me. How about aspiring to full employment and then actually working towards it. Sweden has an unemployment problem that will take years to fix.

Not only that, countries need to realize that an ever increasing population is not a sustainable solution to maintaining living standards. Increased productivity is the sustainable route. It's been done before.
14:19 December 25, 2009 by Hagen
These comments about ,"a rising Labour shortage", are made to frighten you and make it easier for putting in policies to allow a massive influx of foreigners.

They did exactly the same in Britain, they told us 14,00 Poles (absolute maximum), would be coming here to work but the true figure is nearly a Million. It's all part of the plan for ,' one world government', and you need to resist it other wise you will find yourselves living in the same Country but it will not be Sweden any more !

You still have a chance in Sweden to reverse the negative trends, it's too late in Britain, in less than 50 years we will be a Muslim Country, don't make the same mistake, don't keep quiet like we did, when anybody queried the immigration policy, they were called , Racist, Fascist and maybe Nazi, so they kept quiet !!

That's how they control us, by manipulating decent people.
15:54 December 25, 2009 by waspy

"The country is going to face labour shortages and yet the government wants to impose tuition fee at university for immigrants. Now that's just plain stupid."

Almost every country in the world charges University fees to immigrants and they are usually substantially higher than the fees paid by the native students. Those countries, such as the US and UK, have no problems with attracting skilled immigrants so I don't think it will increase the difficulty of Sweden attracting skilled immigrants.

I'm glad that Sweden in making immigrants pay to attend its Universities.
18:22 December 25, 2009 by CatGirl

I'm an American immigrant and I did not come to Sweden because I had to. I would like to have the same rights as regular citizens, or the same rights I had back in the USA or at the very least, the right to work.

My complaint is that I do feel there is discrimination in the workforce against foreigners and immigrants. I see the discrimination in the form of foreigners not being hired for jobs they are more qualified then the native Swedes who are taking those jobs. I respect that this is Sweden and Swedes have a right to work too but there are lots of individual Swedes in my country making tons of money so why don't I have the right to a low paying job here if I choose to live in this country?

Swedish employers often use any excuse to not hire someone they consider to be different. And there is not only discrimination against foreigners and immigrants. I have Swedish friends whose families have been here for a hundred or so years but they "look foreign" so I often think they don't go as far as their Swedish coworkers who are "lighter" in appearance.

It is not so nice to come to this country and want the American/Swedish dream which is a decent place to live and a good career. Without a permanent job you can't get loans and the whole thing falls apart. I actually think I had a better standard of living as a poor college student living in the USA before I even came here. I have the same size of apartment at least. I am not happy about my situation and I want more!

I can understand Swedes being afraid of Sweden turning into a different country but this did not happen to the USA. We have had immigrants coming in for the last 400 plus years and we are one whole country with a common language. We are diversified with mixed blood and I think this is one of our strengths. Our ancestors might be from different places in the world but we identify ourselves as "American" with loyalty's to the USA. At least most of us.

I have lived in Sweden for many years and you might think I hate Sweden but this is not the case. I admire Sweden in some ways but there is always room for improvement in other ways.I do care about Sweden in many ways and feel a loyalty to it. I have lived here so long. If I remain in this country I want a good life here. I don't care to be rich or have a lot of money but I want a decent middle class life like I had back home in the USA. This seems harder to achieve here in Sweden. Maybe this standard of living is harder to achieve for Swedes of my generation and younger Swedes. People who are 50 + seem to have had in easier in their generation.

If I don't find a job in the next few months I think I will be forced to leave Sweden because not having a job means debt after awhile. I will be forced to leave to seek employment elsewhere after more then a decade of living in Sweden. I will be one of the "educated foreigners" leaving Sweden.
19:06 December 25, 2009 by Beavis
Agree with Catgirl.. the problem is more that many Swedish businesess are unable to think outside the box. Its not always the case though and I have seen one small company with 20 employees think very clearly. Half of their workforce was hired on the basis of having lots of experience and little qualifications and the other half was highly educated with only a little experience. As the jobs were not customer facing (this is key) Swedish was not required, what was required were the best people.

But tis is not just a Swedish problem it happens in every country in the world, especially the UK and US. Its much easier to hire an american than a "foreigner" in the US.

But whats better?? Unemployement or labour shortage? I think any country with half a brain will take the latter.

Labour shortage can only be a good thing.
19:09 December 25, 2009 by waspy

If you had the same quality of life in the US then why do you even hesitate to return there?

Wouldn't you prefer to have all of the diversity that you speak of rather than live in a very white country where you feel as though you don't fit in?

Perhaps you would prefer a country like Brazil rather than the US since they have an even greater level of diversity and much more mixed blood.

Is that a strength in Brazil?

Has it made Brazil a better country?

I disagree with your statement that immigration hasn't changed the US BTW.

Perhaps when it was primarily European immigration the country didn't change very much but recent non-European immigration is changing the country for no-Hispanic whites and the change will become much more evident within the next couple of decades.
20:08 December 25, 2009 by futureishere
@Waspy : "Perhaps when it was primarily European immigration the country didn't change very much". - You must be kidding. The European immigration to Americas almost wiped out the native population. This is one of the most devastating examples of immigration affecting the native population.

Having said that, you are right. To expect that immigration will not change the face of native country's social and cultural scene is naive. But as long as this change is not negative, it should be tolerated. In today's highly volatile world, trying to cling on to traditions just for the sake of antiquity is useless and worthless.
20:28 December 25, 2009 by CatGirl

I take offense to your statements. I am actually 1/2 hispanic. My fathers grandparents were from Spain/France. And your presuming hispanics are all from Mexico or South America. Whether they were or not does NOT make them lesser of a people or ruining the USA. There are many productive people of hispanic (South American or Mexican background). In the USA we even have an astronaut engineer who was a Mexican fruit picker when he was younger and he worked his way up, got an education and became an astronaut. Now that's an American success story!

Jose Hernandez

B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of the Pacific, 1984. M.S., Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of California-Santa Barbara, 1986.


I strongly believe that if you give people a chance and allow them an education they can go far and be productive to the country and society.
20:34 December 25, 2009 by CatGirl
Also, I had a coworker at my last job who was Brazilian. She had a masters in Computer Science and Engineering. :-) Go Hispanics and people of generally Latin background!
22:12 December 25, 2009 by waspy
Those Hispanics that you mentioned are the exception to the rule.

Look at the test scores of the average black or Hispanic student on the recent NAEP exams in the US.

The PDF on this site has the scores by ethnicity.


Table A-9 has them for each of the 18 participating cities.


If the US is going to maintain a competitive edge it needs more Europeans (not white Arabs) and Asians and fewer blacks and Hispanics.

The same is true for Sweden.
23:08 December 25, 2009 by Alohart
The capitalist economies of the world are Ponzi schemes that require an ever-growing population. In those countries whose populations are decreasing, the "solution" has been to encourage a higher birth or immigration rate. Yet most of the very serious global problems would not be problems with smaller human populations. So a continuing population growth or shuffling people from poor to wealthier countries cannot continue.

Instead, solve the root of the problem so that growing populations aren't required. This won't be easy, but pushing the solution out into the future will only make the solution more painful.
02:02 December 26, 2009 by lingonberrie
When you sleep with dogs. expect to end-up with fleas.

Sweden chose to sleep with dogs, and now they are facing

the consequences.

The time to return to the drawing-board is long past.

Hire some expert consultants from Denmark; they are in the process of solving their problems.
03:17 December 26, 2009 by heu

Do you want to compare US and UK universities with Swedish ones?

I am not arguing in quality, but they sure have much more prestige. If Sweden would charge tuition fees and I had the money to pay for it, I would definetely not choose Sweden.

My point is, highly skilled immigrants are good for the country and if Sweden doesn't have anything better to offer to them, they won't come.

BTW, about Brazil, the fact of the people there having mixed blood certainly is not a weakness and did not make the country any bad. Also, the brazilian economy is growing quite a lot recently.

How about a different interpretation to all that data you just showed?

Do you think all those numbers show that white men (europeans as you seem to like to call them, even though they are certainly not) are superior? Or do you think that shows how different races have different opportunities? I am certain that the reality is the latter. They are discriminated and, because of that, get less opportunities. Getting less opportunities, they get worse education.
05:41 December 26, 2009 by waspy
Can you explain what you mean about blacks getting less opportunities and therefore less education?

Even when they attend the same schools blacks and Hispanics almost always have lower test scores and higher drop-out rates than white students.

An example here:


And here:


You can do a google search for the following phrase to find the scores of more schools:

Math English black white site:schoolmatters.com

There are one or two schools in which blacks or hispanics will score higher in one subject but it happens very rarely.
10:35 December 26, 2009 by Hagen
Hue posted.:-BTW, about Brazil, the fact of the people there having mixed blood certainly is not a weakness and did not make the country any bad. ""

I visited Brazil for a while to work there on a Project and I found that they are indeed a very diverse lot, but in every single company I visited, the Managers were All White and some were European

The Middle Managers were white or lightly coloured and the Workers were all Black/ Brown.

Don't anybody believe the guff about Brazil be integrated, multi-culty, etc.

There is a very rigid class system based on colour and the assumption that the blacker you are, the dumber you are.
18:25 December 26, 2009 by heu

Black families are usually poor and cannot afford good education. When they can, they are usually minority in the schools and suffer a lot of racism. You won't prove your white supremacy theory in numbers when you do not know the reality.


Brazil suffers more of a social prejudice then racism. The problem is that most poor people happen to be black, mostly because of the slavery times. It is really difficult to change this situation without proper education. In short, more money, more education. More education, better positions.

"There is a very rigid class system based on colour and the assumption that the blacker you are, the dumber you are."

Now this is just your own theory. Besides, I am sure your view of the country is very much based on a single region, southeast/south I would guess. That happens to be the region where most of the european immigrants stablished themselves and white people are majority there.
18:52 December 26, 2009 by waspy

"Black families are usually poor and cannot afford good education. When they can, they are usually minority in the schools and suffer a lot of racism."

Education is free up until college and then they can easily obtain student loans to attend college.

In primary school and high school racism really shouldn't be a factor since the schools blacks attend usually have black majorities and are usually very well funded.

NAEP 8th grade scores, per pupil expenditures, and ethnic percentages:


Per-pupil expenditures: $5,876

Ethnicity: White: 78.9% Black: 1.5% Hispanic: 14.7%

Test scores: Math: 284 Reading: 262 Science: 154 Writing: 152

Illinois: Per-pupil expenditures: $9,625

Ethnicity: White: 55.4% Black: 19.9% Hispanic: 20.4%

Math: 282 Reading: 263 Science: 148 Writing: 160

District of Columbia: Per-pupil expenditures: $14,699

Ethnicity: White: 5.4% Black: 83.2% Hispanic: 9.9%

Math: 219 Reading: 241 Science: 113 (1996) Writing: 128 (2002)

Compare the results of DC with a mostly white state receiving almost as much funding:

Vermont: Per-pupil expenditures: $13,453

Ethnicity: White: 95.2% Black: 1.7% Hispanic: 1.1%

Math: 293 Reading: 273 Science: 162 Writing: 162

NAEP State profiles:


The apparent spending gap in favor of minorities is not enough to remove the academic gap between whites and blacks so colleges find ways to discriminate in favor of minorities in the college admission process:

05:48 December 28, 2009 by lancer
Get married, stay married, have babies, raise them as Swedes. Alohart think about what you are saying. Fewer people will solve the problem. But the problem is, not enough people. Maybe try reading a little more Ayn Rand and a little less Marx.
21:33 December 28, 2009 by MJdS
@Hagen, about Brazil:

"There is a very rigid class system based on colour and the assumption that the blacker you are, the dumber you are."

Do you really think so? So I guess you missed our country completely, a pity.. just google the name of our most well-known intellectual writer, a kind of "local-Shakespeare" named "Machado de Assis", and you will see he would be considered an afro-descent by North American standards..

Google the name "Marechal Cândido Rondon", the patron of the entire Brazilian army, and you will see he would be considered 100% "redskin" native (indian-blood) again by North American standards..

Google if you wish the name of President Lula, watch him closely, and you will see his indian blood characteristics, typical from the Northeast of Brazil..

Or google our last President before him, Mr. Fernando Cardoso, and observe closely his afro-lips and the color of his skin - he is a proud afrodescendant... as well as 4 other of our Presidents before him..

yes, there is racial discrimination here, for sure... but believe me, social prejudice is the major factor. You are most likely to be discriminated being a "rough white" than a well-educated afrodescendant.. doesn´t make things better, but it´s closer to our reality...

and yes, the country has failed to provide a mass-education system bringing people from lower classes up, and unfortunately for historical reasons, afrodescendants have been "the lower classes", if you could refer to them as such...

I prefer to believe that ex-slave owners are lower in values than the ex-slaves themselves...

.. and believe me, there if much more dignity in the Brazilian poverty (although we are the 10th economy in the world, and according to IMF, the 5th in 2016 ), than in many other countries´ wealth..


why we aren´t better-off? Study our 500 years of history - just calculate all the gold and silver ripped off from these lands in the 350 years we were an exploited colony (there are detailed records in all the Portuguese and Spanish ports through which they entered to finance European wealth..), consider these amounts as a "generous loan to Europe", calculate today´s typical international bank´s interest rates for loans, and please hand us back the total of U.S. and European GDP´s added up together many times..

you all should be discussing values, values, and values (the intangible..) not ethnics, skin-color, or any other kind of "visible-labels"..
22:19 December 28, 2009 by waspy

Brazil has been independent for almost 200 years. Why haven't you been able to rebuild that wealth?

After WWII many European countries were economically devastated but they rebuilt to a point that was even better than before the war. Why can't you do the same?
10:21 December 29, 2009 by Hagen
Let us consider the wealth of mistakes, errors and just plain foolishness in the article which IS intended to deceive !

""Almost a quarter of the 300-odd Americans awarded Nobel prizes over the years came to the US as immigrants.""

So this means that they are saying that American Indians were responsible for the other 75% of Nobel Prize winners, (being the only non-immigrants) ?

Perhaps Chief Sitting Bull got the peace Prize, Geronimo got the prize for Physics and Howling Wolf got the prize for Chemistry ?

Well folks, I must confess, I missed that !
12:58 December 29, 2009 by dsc
Some please give a medal to WASP!

He has finally put the age old argument to rest. The white man is Superior ! At last white supremacists can now celebrate that at last they a reason to exist.

But . . .
15:43 December 29, 2009 by MJdS

"Brazil has been independent for almost 200 years. Why haven't you been able to rebuild that wealth?"

That´s exactly what´s going on now, as stated above... as to our true-independence birth date, it´s actually more like 20 years other than 200.. post-colonial days, post-pseudo-monarchy-rule (1822 to 1889 : can you imagine the Brisith Monarchy moving into U.S. territory to assure their colonial-wealth? That´s what happened here..), post-cold-war geopolitical logics (1989 on..)..

"After WWII many European countries were economically devastated but they rebuilt to a point that was even better than before the war. Why can't you do the same? "

Answer: Marshall Plan.. generous US$ 2 billion donation without interest rates... we got the loans with astronomical rates, but never mind anyway, our debt is "payed" for, and today the country has more US$ in than it owes.. international liquid creditor..

But the real issue is: how many countires can be really proud about their wealth? Proud meaning having a clean-conscious.. empires built upon sacks and piracy shouldn´t be proud about anything, neither feel superior over anyone..
18:13 December 29, 2009 by waspy
@MJdS "...empires built upon sacks and piracy shouldn´t be proud about anything, neither feel superior over anyone.. "

Empires built entirely on sacks and piracy have already lost their wealth.

Just look at Algeria and Turkey.



Britain, France, Germany, Sweden and almost every other Northern European country have retained their wealth and built it up even further. Their wealth was based on industry, trade and commerce.
12:42 December 30, 2009 by nielsl
Im not sure what's your nationality, but being from NL I know my country got rich by exploiting Indonesians for spices and selling africans for slaves in the US.
13:21 December 30, 2009 by Englishman_In_Norpan
The only jobs here in Sweden are for sales orienatated posistions, or for highly specialized engineering candidates. All of the jobs that require additional workers listed, and for those that regularily appear on ams.se require a single unifying qualification...Svenska...how does the Swedish institute plan on attracting hundreds of thousands of people to this land when it takes so long to learn a language?

The government already frets its head over the influence of English on the country, yet to be open to foreign labour then you must be open to English, and be less restictive on your language requirements for employment. Most Swedes speak a great deal of English, and to deny this fact is silly -One does need Engelska A to enter university afterall! How can it threaten the nation to communicate infrequently throughout the workday in a mutually understandable language, with the proviso that the non-Swede learns svenska in a less 'forced' manner than SFI?
15:04 December 30, 2009 by waspy

How much money do you think the Netherlands earned from the slave trade in current dollars?

Keep in mind that it was a combined total of 11 million Africans transported to the Americas. That's 11 million between the Netherlands, France, Britain, Spain and Portugal.

At $2,000 per African slave (it might be higher) that would only be $22 billion shared between 5 of the wealthiest countries in the world. They probably spend that much each year on soda and potato chips and probably 10 times that amount on imports from China.

That money has already been spent so why are they still wealthy?
21:57 December 30, 2009 by nielsl

it is of course nonsense to transfer amounts earned then to worth nowadays.

its definetely been the key to richdom for NL (slave trading and spices). money invested in transport of other products has mad NL the trade/transport nation it is nowadays. the amounts earned then was a huge amount, because you also have to keep in mind the amount of citezens at that time was between one and two million.

also you can see that having this history in trading and spices we developed big companies in food and finance.

have a look at what territory and resources im talking about, this is probably thousand times the size of NL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Empire

to me its clear that (colonial) history for a huge part determined were we are today and also were other countries are.
23:08 December 30, 2009 by waspy

Even if the population of Europe is now 10 times the size that it is was at the time of slavery that would only give an equivalent of $220 billion dollars in earnings over the 200 year history of Trans-Atlantic slavery. Assuming payments of $2,000 per slave (I don't know how accurate that figure is).

That's about a billion per year split between 5 countries which would give each country a population adjusted and inflation adjusted value of $200 million per year.

It was a lot of money but could not be considered as the primary source of the wealth that European countries posses today.

Britain was already wealthy before its entrance into the slave trade.

Look at this panorama of London that was made in 1616:


Some colonies did contribute to the wealth of Europe but that was not the sole source of wealth. If it were then the colonies would have become significantly wealthier once they achieved independence and the former colonizer would have become significantly poorer once their source of wealth had been interrupted.

That did happen with places like Turkey and its former colonies. It also happened with many of the African empires but not European empires.

Since achieving independence from Britain, as an example, the wealth gap between Britain and many of its former colonies has grown wider since they achieved independence.

You say that the trade in spices and slaves made the Netherlands the transport nation it is today but how do you know that the Netherlands wasn't already one of the leading transport nations before its emergence as a colonial empire?
09:32 December 31, 2009 by Hagen
@niels.:-and selling africans for slaves in the US.

The Africans were sold by other Africans though.

The Europeans did not go and catch Africans to make slaves out of them, they bought them as slaves from other Africans or Arabs.

Anyway, they had a better life in the USA than Africa, a slave is a commodity and you always look after something that you paid for !
12:40 December 31, 2009 by lintexdig
The study says:"A number of studies show Sweden to be an attractive place for people wishing to work or study in another country". This is totally rhetorical. what the hell are these studies telling us sweden to be 'attractive" place for working and studying? The Facts will be revealed after next year when swedish universities became empty sanctuaries due to shortage of international students! Actually,sweden doesn't want educated immigrants look for white colar jobs rather it deseperately needs the uneducated, cheap paid laborers who can clean up the streets, wash the dishes and the daipers of the soon dying elderly, etc. That is where the welfare state is failing!! Don't be fooled by these fake studies. if you are here with your engineering degree, you will end up your life at most driving a taxi. At some time you may even forget that you have engineering degree
19:42 December 31, 2009 by Nahom
Dear participants of this forum, here is my own ongoing case as an example for topic at hand.

Before seven years I studied in Sweden and earned a PhD from known university. After returning back to my country & working for 6 years, I came back to Sweden for research work through employment visa (work permit & residence visa). Because of political problem, I couldn't return back to my country. I have tried to find another work and/or extend my residence permit but it was not possible. Because my residence permit expired and have no other alternative I applied for asylum.

The Immigration Authority (IA) told me that if my asylum case is not accepted I have also the right to apply for residence permit based on the new Swedish professional employment regulation. Accordingly, I have requested the residence permit. The IA have told me that first I should get a minimum of 2 years of work contract agreement from Swedish institutions. I have been applying for different positions to different institution. But for my dismay , at the beginning most of them accept my application , then when they know that I am asylum seeker they are not willing to heir me. Some of them telling me first to have residence permit.

Here is the dilemma I am in: IA asking me to get a work in order to get residence permit and the work providers asking me residence permit to get the work . Here is I am in limbo. I am in sad situation just sitting for the past 9 months stranded in one of IA Centers.

Note: I have studied in this country and stayed for four and half years; then worked for 6 months legally and I paid tax.

What I have observing in IA centers is a waste of human resource. Educated or uneducated there is no distinction made at IA.
13:04 January 1, 2010 by Smartone
I came to Sweden a year ago, I have experienced many new times which I'd like to share with all of you, that indeed it was a great opportunity provided by the Swedish government to all the students to come and study without tuition fee although if we look at the other aspects we will find out that every single international student is paying to Sweden in forms of buying food, clothes, accomodation and so on. The thing is that imposing a tuition fee according to them will enable them to make more money for Sweden which is extremely a wrong act cause I don't think so that students who are managing to survive in Sweden during their period of studies will be able to pay their fees while they can't even get a part time job to pay for their extra curricular activities. Moreover Swedish universities are full of students because of no tuition fee if they impose they will see the consequences. Infact Swedish government should encourage international students who are not even getting CN loan like everyother Swedes is getting to prolong his/her studies. As far as the integration is concerned I am totally agree that there should be some rule to hire the immigrants and give them right to work in their field of study or professionalism. To answer the question of labour shortage, yes that is very obvious if you take a look at those people who are working in their old ages they are more older than 60's but they are still working just to fill the gap which is going to be more wider incoming years if Sweden's population will not increase or they will not welcome educated and skilled immigrants, Sweden will be facing more hard time than it faced ever before.
15:23 January 1, 2010 by George Jeffreys
Be careful who you open your borders to.

All too many immigrants from the educationally and socially backward Islamic world, i.e. all of it, will take all the benefits you have to offer and despise you for it. They will congregate in ghettos, build mosques and turn your towns into no-go areas.

They will demand you change your laws to accommodate their cultural and religious practices, like polygamy (for muslim men only), cruel and illegal methods of animal butchery and the establishment of sharia law. They will take to the streets in violent demonstration if a primary school child calls her teddy bear Mohammed or a newspaper publishes cartoons that make fun of their warrior prophet. On the other hand, they'll stay silently and invisibly indoors anytime an Islamic terorist puts a bomb on a bus, train or passenger jet and kills hundreds of innocent people.

They will not tolerate criticism of Islam under any circumstances, because the Koran is the holy word of the Arabian Moon Pixie, and not accepting it's "teachings" as interpreted by it's "scholars" means you're a legitimate target for assassination.

Good luck with that.
10:20 January 2, 2010 by s-whittinghill

I am a Candian of British decent living in Sweden - so I have some experience with the various immigration systems and their long-term impacts on a society.

If I were a full Swedish citizen, I would fight vigorously against the lefty movement for more immigration, especially of the so called "skilled immigration" category as we have in Canada. It's a disaster. Here's how it goes:

1) The lefty types promote skilled immigration under a point based system so as to save the economy and support the social systems (not their real concern or agenda).

2) First various sectors of the economy are "flooded" with skilled immigrants, destroying the local job market for those who picked their career wisely. Later, when that sector enters a down-cycle, as always happens, thousands upon thousands are laid off, and the so called skilled immigrants eventually find themselves on unemployment, along with thousands of locals they displaced by working for less. Eventually, the sector that was targetted for immigration is ruined in that locals no longer want the work, as it becomes stigmatized as "immigrant work". This happened with software engineering and many other sectors of the Canadian economy.

3) Later, when the country has enough immigrants, they start banding together and voting in blocks, thus influencing the politics of the local host nation. This is a big problem, and they eventually DEMAND that the host country start admitting their parents as well so their parents can have free pensions and medicare (trust me, this really happens). Eventually, they will start getting approval by influeing the politics of the host nation.

4) Finally, the host nations culture gets destroyed as the nation fills with Indians, Arabs and other annoying people who have no respect for the host nation.

My advice: Don\t go begging. Just get your native population to reproduce a tiny bit more. Put some money into it. Subsidize the babies. Save your culture. Stand up and fight!
15:53 January 2, 2010 by On2010
I recently finished my Master's studies here in Sweden. While your are studying , Swedish companies, schools,... preach that they 'REALLY* need foreign talents ( that is why they are spending billions of Swedish taxpayer money to attract foreign students to study in Sweden).Then it is a paradox to see,as Glamshek, that they ask you if you speak Swedish, got a residence permit; and the immigration office ask you if you have a job offer,... What a damn questions they are.

Countries like Denmark, Netherlands are trying hard to retain, or bring people of talent from abroad. And you know what, they give you a visa just to look for a job (What an idea it is). Why wouldn't Sweden introduce such visa scheme if it really means to get foreign minds? Think about it Sweden. The world is shrinking, and it might not help you being arrogant, proud nation.
17:37 January 2, 2010 by waspy

What you've described sounds just like what happened with the textile workers who were brought into Britain from South Asia.

The factories closed down soon afterward and the immigrants ended up on the dole rather than moving back home.
19:55 January 2, 2010 by s-whittinghill
Yes. Britian is a perfect example of what I am describing. The textile workers ended up on the dole. We have the same problem in Canada, but our unemployed are all ex-software engineers and computer programmers. That work has gone to China and India forever, yet our immigrants sure aren't following the jobs.

All they do now is vote together as an enormous block to influence the politics, especially with regards to the immigration laws. And what do you think they want? Simply more and more immigration, and more and more rights for immigrants. They are currently lobbying to have their parents receive full old-age pension and medical benefits, despite having signed papers promising to cover all expenses for their parents when Canada offered papers. I feel this is a simple betrayal.

Sweden is a tiny country with a tiny population and thousands of years of history. It can not absorb any more immigrants from India, Iraq, Somalia or whever without permanently changing a proud and beautiful culture. And Swedes must note that there is no going back after admitting the people. The gene pool, culture and atmosphere of the contry will be changed forever if the current immigration trends are allowed to continue. Its a shame.
05:42 January 3, 2010 by Buccaneer
@ waspy, you talk about maths problems amongst Hispanics and african Americans without mentioning the falling standards of maths and physics amongst swedes (http://www.thelocal.se/23746/20091209/). I fail to see how the trailer park caucasians in the US fit into your profile here.

Things are changing and changing fast around the world, SAAB and Volvo have gone under. Swedish companies are falling behind in competition and more swedes are moving to Norway to work as laborers.

I look at the US and see the contribution of Hispanics, African Americans and Asians in the area of mathematis, industry, trade, sport, entertainement and science but I fail to see the contribution of swedes who moved to the US decaeds ago. You should stop projecting the message of the sweden democrates and open your eyes to what is happening in the global community.
11:09 January 3, 2010 by ringorm
People are looking at this problem the wrong way, we simply need to kill off 25% of the aging population that no longer are useful for employment, problem solved vote for me Ringorm the barbarian next year and I will promise you booty and riches from the comming plunder we shall gain from our raid on the brittons nation like in the good 'ol days.
23:51 January 3, 2010 by waspy

Trailer park Caucasians? Like the ones in Alabama? They outperform blacks and hispanics too.

Average scale scores for mathematics, grade 8, by year, jurisdiction, and Race/ethnicity (from school records) [SDRACE]: 2009


White: 280

Hispanic: 260

Black: 248


It's laughable that you are aware of black and hispanic contributions to the US but not Swedish contributions to the US.

Famous Swedish Americans: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Swedish_Americans

The reasons for Saab and Volvo going under might be the socialist policies that favor gender diversity in workforces rather than the most effective workforce (even if it would be white males only). Put Swedish people in a productive environment and they'll be very competitive compared to immigrants from the Mid-East, Africa, Latin America, etc...

I don't know what's going on with Swedish schools right now but I'm sure it can be fixed.
05:40 January 4, 2010 by Buccaneer

Like I said your sweden democrate talking point is getting old, come up with new ideas. These ideas you preach did not help hitler and I do not think it would help you and ur friends. I would suggest you try to know what is going on in swedish schools, cos that would make you think before you start talking about what you know little to nothing about.

What is laughable is that you were not smart enough to put things in perspective. You failed to highlight what the percentage of Caucasians, Hispanics and African Americans that make up the population figure of Alabama. According to the US Census Bureau 2008 estimate, Alabama is made up of 71% Caucasians, 26.4% African Americans and 2.9% Hispanics. With this population figures in mind, the difference btw the three groups in the scores you pointed out is within 10% range.

Compare the above figures with the drop in maths and physics score in Sweden and you would find that the drop in sweden in that regard has doubled from 36% to 71% since 1995. Can you imagine that in 2008 71% of swedish students failed to reach an average level of knowledge in maths.

your list of famous swedish Americans is a boring list of midiocre personalities that are not recognizable to the average joe. the only name that stands out was Gretchen Carlson, co-host of Fox & Friends on Fox News. Hope you are smart enough to know that Glenn Beck also works in Fox news or Fix news.

The only thing that stands out in that list is the number of actors you have contributed to the US. I have to give you that point, swedish women are BEAUTIFUL and anyone would be nuts not to air them as actors. so Waspy, you just helped me prove my point that swedish Americans have litlle or no meaningful contribution to the development of America in the area of mathematics, military, inventions astronomy sports and science.

My aim is not to make swedes look bad, but you are giving sweden a bad name and calling attention to its weak points. You should focus on building the falling maths standard in sweden and finding a way to revive SAAB and Volvo. It is a shame that you attribute the fall of SAAB and Volvo to gender diversity in the workforce. Tell you what, the swedish women are what you have got going for you.

The game of us v them is old and pointless.
05:57 January 4, 2010 by Buccaneer

The contribution of Hispanics and African Americans to the development of the US can not be over stated (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans), (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_African_Americans )

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_astronauts) (http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/madgreatest.html)

15:51 January 4, 2010 by waspy
"You failed to highlight what the percentage of Caucasians, Hispanics and African Americans that make up the population figure of Alabama."

I'm not sure how that negates the data that I presented. I could pick any state in the US and the results will be the same.

Average scale scores for mathematics, grade 8, by year, jurisdiction, and Race/ethnicity (from school records) [SDRACE]: 2009

Alabama: White: 280 - Hispanic: 260 - Black: 248

Alaska: White: 293 - Hispanic: 275 - Black: 268

Arizona: White: 292 - Hispanic: 269 - Black: 265

Arkansas: White: 284 - Hispanic: 269 - Black: 251

California: White: 289 - Hispanic: 256 - Black: 250

Colorado: White: 299 - Hispanic: 267 - Black: 263

Connecticut: White: 298 - Hispanic: 261 - Black: 263

Delaware: White: 294 - Hispanic: 278 - Black: 267

District of Columbia: White: NA - Hispanic: 265 - Black: 249

Florida: White: 289 - Hispanic: 274 - Black: 264


I could keep going but I think you can see the pattern already. There are vastly different demographics between the states but the performance of each ethnicity remains consistent. The lowest average white score (West Virginia 271) is only one point lower than the highest average black score (Massachusetts 272, Texas 272).

Since you're so concerned about Sweden's performance on the TIMSS exam let's take a look at those numbers.

Standard errors for average mathematics scores of eighth-grade students, by country: 2007

TIMSS Average: 500 - Chinese Taipei: 598 - England: 513 - United States: 508 [Asian-American 549, White-American: 533, Hispanic-American: 475, Black-American: 457] - Sweden: 491 - Turkey: 432 - El Salvador: 340 - Ghana: 309

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009001_suptables.pdf (pages E-3 and E-15)

"The contribution of Hispanics and African Americans to the development of the US can not be over stated"

Neither can the contribution of European Americans which includes people of Swedish heritage who no longer identify as Swedes. Those African American astronauts would have never made it into space without European Americans. BTW, were you aware that Buzz Aldrin was of Scottish, Swedish, and German ancestry?
16:04 January 4, 2010 by Itsy Bitsy Spider
Before talking about attracting labour from abroad it would be good to specify the rules and 'must-have' qualifications and experiences suffecient to succed in jobsearch here.

What is most devastating about searching a job in Sweden is that you never get a slightest clue why your application has been rejected. Seems that you do not know the secret rules of the secret game that everybody exept you are aware of.

Is it Swedish language skills? - Fine! Tell me: what level I should be and I will pursue it.

Do you need GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, MSc from the Swedich school, something else? Say that aloud and I will consider getting it or searching employment somewhere else. That would be at least honest.

Otherwise, if people are ashamed to reveal the real reason, I figure out that there is indeed something to be ashamed of.
04:54 January 5, 2010 by Buccaneer

So all you could come up with is some guy with a dodgy ancestry? You have to do better than that.I have to tell you again that swedes who moved to the US decades ago have not made any meaningful contribution to the country. In my previous posting I provided you with links to show the contributions of Hispanics and African Americans in the area of science, military, mathematics and inventors. All you could come up with is some guy with a dodgy ancestry. I know of British, Irish and other Europeans contribution to the US in notable fields but you cant find the same for swedes apart from their contribution as actors. This is not a surprise because historically Swedes have lived as hard working peasants. History shows the contribution of most European states but I fail to see yours.

Guess what swedes were doing when the great walls of China were being built, or when the mayan civilization was at its peak or when the pyramids were being built in Africa by the likes of Tutankhamun, or when Imhotep invented medicine. I know you would mention your viking saga as your achievements.

All your type who are hate mongers do is run around and point fingers, you should focus more on technology transfer or how to bring in the right people with the know how to fix SAAB and Volvo. I dont expect you to listen to me, afterall you Neo-Nazis have all the answers, like blaming gender equality for the fall of SAAB and Volvo.
20:32 January 5, 2010 by Buccaneer
Looks like waspy deleted all coments made by him on this page, I have to say people with such extreme views should be called out. They should not be allowed to preach hate unchallenged. I call on everyone to be tolerant and respect the views of others even when they are different from ours. This does in no way include hateful views towards anyone. Sweden has alot to offer to swedes and immigrants, sometimes it would not always be favorable, however, it is home to many so let us live in peace. Unity in diversity.
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