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Many foreign-born in Sweden lack work: study

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07:52 CET+01:00
More than two out of three foreign-born residents who have been in Sweden for two years or less don't have work, new statistics show.

The figures come from a recent report carried out by Statistics Sweden on behalf of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv) and the white collar union Saco, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

The report also shows that immigrants are more likely to have work the longer they are in Sweden but that their country of birth plays less of a role in their ability to find work.

Among foreign-born residents who have lived in Sweden more than 20 years, roughly seven out of ten have some form of employment. The figure compares with an employment rate of roughly eight out of ten among Swedish-born residents, according to SR.

The radio station also reports that half of all residents born outside of Sweden have a job which fits with their education, compared to a figure of nearly 80 percent for workers born in Sweden.

Mahmood Albazi is one of those who has given up hope of finding a job in Sweden. Instead, he is setting his sights on launching his own business.

“I'm too old to look for work now; I'm 57 years old…who is going to employ a 57-year-old?” he told SR.

Christer Ågren, deputy head of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, believes that the labour market in Sweden is designed for those who already have jobs. He wants therefore “lower the threshold” in Swedish job security laws.

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