Foreign born persons on the Swedish labour market

Karin Elisabet Lundström, Statistics Sweden

For a reasonably long period employment rates among foreign born persons in Sweden has been lower than among Swedish born. Employment statistics is normally based on period data. One problem with these types of data is that they usually do not take into account that foreign born persons in Sweden are a heterogeneous group. The composition of the group changes over time, since immigration to Sweden varies from one period to another. In this study we therefore take a cohort perspective describing employment rates among foreign born persons in Sweden. The purpose of the study is to describe the situation of foreign-born persons on the Swedish labour market. This has been done by following employment among foreign-born persons who immigrated to Sweden in 1997, 2000 or 2003. The results are presented based on country of birth, reason for immigration and level of education. The proportion of employed persons consistently increases with the amount of time in Sweden. After ten years in Sweden, nearly 70 percent of the men and roughly 60 percent of the women are employed. However, employment varies for different groups of foreign-born persons. Persons who have received asylum are employed to a lesser degree than those who immigrated to work. The difference in employment is especially great during the first few years in the country. Two years after immigration, about 20 percent of those who immigrated to Sweden for asylum are employed. Employment is particularly low among persons who received asylum and only have a pre-upper secondary school education. A breakdown of the results by countries of birth also reveals differences. Employment is lowest among persons born in Iraq, Iran and Somalia, but the differences drop somewhat in relation to the amount of time in Sweden. The results are based on register-based employment statistics.

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Presented in Poster Session 1