Half of foreigners don’t have jobs in parts of Sweden

TT/The Local
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Half of foreigners don’t have jobs in parts of Sweden
A young unemployed man looks out his window. Photo: Mats Andersson/TT

As Sweden grapples with how best to get newcomers into the job market, new figures show that in 107 of Sweden’s 290 municipalities, 30 percent of people born outside Sweden are unemployed.


Five years ago, just 33 municipalities fell into this bracket, Dagens Nyheter (DN) reports.

Twelve municipalities posted unemployment rates of more than 50 percent among people born abroad, the newspaper said, basing its findings on figures from Statistics Sweden. In 2012 there were no municipalities in this category. 

Ovanåker in northern Sweden, which has taken in a high proportion of asylum seekers in recent years, had the highest rate of unemployment among foreigners (58.7 percent). 

With 150,000 new immigrants not yet counted in the statistics, unemployment is expected to continue to rise among foreigners. 

“There are no signs that this trend will stop in the near future,” analyst Mats Wadman from the Swedish employment agency told DN. 

Lena Micko, head of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL), said municipalities needed to do more to help newcomers find work. 

“But the big risk is that people’s belief and trust in society is called into question and that we have more open segregation than we have now, and we get more social exclusion.” 

In all, 21.4 percent of Sweden’s foreign-born population is out of work, compared to 4.7 percent for people born in Sweden. 

The national employment agency, Arbetsförmedlingen, predicts that foreigners will make up six in ten of Sweden’s jobless by 2017. 


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