Half of Sweden's cleaners now foreign: study

The Local Sweden
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Half of Sweden's cleaners now foreign: study
An Iraqi-born doctor in Stockholm. File photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT

Almost every other cleaner and one in three doctors in Sweden was foreign-born in 2012, statistics published on Thursday revealed. Many immigrant doctors lived together, while truck drivers often ended up with nurses.


Around 70 percent of the foreign-born cleaners in Sweden were women in 2012, and with men included, foreign-born cleaners in Sweden made up 47 percent of Sweden's cleaning workforce. Among doctors, immigrant men and women were equally represented, together making up nearly half the number of Swedish medical doctors practising in Sweden, or around a third of the total number of doctors in the country.
Fourteen percent of the Swedish workforce in 2012 was made up of foreign-born employees, Statistics Sweden, the official statistics bureau in Sweden, said on Thursday. The most common job among immigrants was working as a home-care assistant - a sector which employed 35,000 foreign-born employees and 117,700 people born inside Sweden. 
While an estimated 15 percent of people living in Sweden are foreign-born, they were disproportionately represented among cleaners, making up almost half of the workforce. The figures showed that 34,000 foreign-born workers called cleaning their profession in 2012, while 38,000 people born in Sweden worked in the same field.
Other popular jobs for immigrants were assistant nurses - 31,000 - and helpers in restaurants at just over 19,000.
When it came to immigrant couples, the most popular job combination was two doctors, with a total of 3,300 couples in Sweden in 2012 both working in the field. The second most popular combination among couples, defined as those married, registered as partners (sambo), or living together with kids, was a truck driver and a nurse.
In terms of self-employed immigrants, hairdressers and beauticians were the most popular professions, followed by cab drivers.


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