New employment figures

Record number of foreign-born get jobs

Published måndag 4 februari 2013 kl 10:14
Vårdpersonal flyttar på en patient på en vårdavdelning på ett sjukhus. Foto: Bertil Ericson/Scanpix.
Seven out of 10 jobs were taken up by foreign-born residents, with the trend being particularly strong in the health sector (file photo).

Between 2001 and 2010, seven out of 10 jobs in Sweden were taken up by foreign-born residents, according to Statistics Sweden.

The trend is particularly strong in the health care and restaurant sectors.

The figures refer to "net jobs". Thousands of people born in Sweden also took up employment in the same period, but many also retired or left work for different reasons. The amount of "net jobs" did not increase as dramatically among those born in Sweden as those born abroad.

"Many immigrants are getting work. The fact is that those born abroad are indispensable to the Swedish labour market," Farbod Rezania of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

Rezania said the figures show that integration is working much better than often presumed, but one problem is that the share of immigrants who receive work is not growing since there is a steady inflow of new arrivals in Sweden.

"It looks like nothing is happening. In reality, the number of foreign-born who receive work is growing very fast," said Rezania.

During the 2008 financial crisis the number of employed people decreased by around 110,000 people but there was no decrease among the foreign born.

"It is hard to say why," said Hassan Mirza of Statistics Sweden.

"One reason could be that many work within health care and other service professions - sectors that are less vulnerable to economic fluctuations. Instead, industrial workers, many of whom are Swedish-born men, were hit harder."

The figures from Statistics Sweden show that the number of gainfully employed in Sweden increased by 205,000 people between 2001 and 2010. A total of 72.8 percent - nearly 150,000 people - were born outside of Sweden.

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