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Good news and bad news for immigrant jobs

Published måndag 19 januari 2015 kl 10.00
An office of the Public Employment Service in Norrköping. Photo: Yvonne Åsell/SvD/TT.
An office of the Public Employment Service in Norrköping. Photo: Yvonne Åsell/SvD/TT.

Unemployment in Sweden is falling, a least according to the Public Employment Service. But, the improvement doesn’t include immigrants.

The trend is a bit hard to follow. Among those living here born outside of Sweden, the number without jobs was higher in December than in the same month the previous year. But, as Mats Wadman, head of the analysis division at the Public Employment Service, explains, some of the numbers are good:

“Among foreign-borns,” he says, “relative unemployment has gone down. But if you look at the number of people registered with the employment service, that has increased.”

In December just under 12 percent of the foreign borns on the labor market here were without jobs. That is in fact a lower percentage than the year before. But, because more people have immigrated to Sweden and joined the labor market, the absolute number of those who are without work has grown, by around 1200.

In terms of the overall picture, unemployment has gone down and there are more temporary jobs now.

Mats Wadman of the public employment service says that much of the general increase in jobs is among immigrants, but, finding work for the recent stream of relatively low-educated refugees is a challenge:

“We’re seeing many new foreign borns with a low level of education,” he says. “Those are the groups where unemployment is increasing most.”

But even if it can be difficult for people who arrive in Sweden without a secondary school education, or who have problems learning the language, Mats Wadman says there are opportunities:

“Even if it can look gloomy, there are those who finds jobs, for example in the hotel and restaurant sector,” he says. “But generally speaking, those who don’t have a secondary school education, both Swedish born or foreign born, will have a harder time finding work than those who have finished high school.”

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