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Immigrant employment rates vary by region

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14:51 CEST+02:00
Employment rates between local- and foreign-born workers differ by more than 30 percentage points in some areas of Sweden, according to a report from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån, SCB) based on data from 2008.

The highest employment rate of foreign-born workers in Sweden is 71 percent in Värnamo in Småland, far higher than the 48 percent for Söderhamn in Hälsingland.

In Värnamo, both the proportion and number of foreign-born workers, 16 percent and over 13,000 people, are higher than in other smaller regional centers.

Other low employment rates cited in the report include 51 percent in Vimmerby, also in Småland, and 53 percent in Eskilstuna in Södermanland.

Vimmerby, Söderhamn and Blekinge are examples of areas where the gap in unemployment is high between local- and foreign-born workers. However, in Pajala, Gällivare and Kiruna in northern Sweden, the gap in unemployment is relatively low at around 15 percentage points.

In metropolitan areas where many newly arrived immigrants have settled, the proportion of employed was 58 percent for foreign-born workers and 82 percent among those born in Sweden in 2008. Newly arrived immigrants in Värnamo and Kiruna are employed to a greater extent than in other regions.

Foreign-born workers who have been in Sweden for less than five years have low rates of employment. There are large differences in employment among those who have been in Sweden a short time across the country.

Kiruna (52 percent), Gällivare (48 percent) and Värnamo (47 percent) are regions with high levels of employment among new arrivals.

At the same time, the foreign-born employment rate overall is also highest in these regions. The proportion of employed persons in these areas who have lived a short time in Sweden is slightly higher than in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

Haparanda, on the southernmost land border with Finland in northern Sweden, is the region with the highest percentage of foreign-born residents, nearly 40 percent. Almost all the foreign-born in Haparanda are from Finland.

Six out of 10 foreign-born workers live in metropolitan areas and a large proportion of them come from outside Europe.

There are considerably more foreign-born women than men in many smaller regions with a large shortage of women born in Sweden. In smaller regions, many born outside Europe usually come from Thailand.

According to official statistics, employment rates among the foreign-born are lowest in Värmland's Eda at 36 percent. However, this is due to extensive commuting across the border to Norway. Including border commuters increases the employment rate by about 20 percentage points.

For the same reason, the Malmö metropolitan area stands out. Officially, the employment rate among the foreign-born is 48 percent in the Malmö region. Adjusted for commuting, employment rates are at the same level as in Stockholm and Gothenburg, where the rates are 62 percent and 58 percent.

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