Sweden’s state-funded broadcaster has revealed that of 163,000 migrants who came to Sweden, less than 500 have found jobs.
Sweden saw a record 163,000 applications for asylum last year as a result of the migrant crisis and many Swedes were assured that the new arrivals would contribute to the economy; but new research from Sweden’s state-owned SVT reveals that fewer than 500 migrants have found work.
Using data from the Swedish employment agency and the Swedish migration authority, Migrationsverket, the network claims that only 494 asylum seekers are contributing to the economy, The Local reports.
While in many countries asylum seekers are banned from formally working while their application is being processed, in Sweden there are exceptions. The “at-und” is an exemption granted by Migrationsverket which allows asylums seekers access to the labour market.
In an effort to explain the incredibly low number of migrants working, Lisa Bergstrand of Migrationsverket told SVT: “There was an incredible number of people applying for asylum in Sweden and so that we should be able to register them, we had to de-prioritise certain tasks, and that was the matter of jobs”. Of the migrants who claimed asylum in 2015 approximately one third of the men and women aged 20-64 were given the exemption to allow them to work, which is around 53,790 migrants.
The figures of migrant unemployment follow a trend in Sweden of high unemployment for foreigners. The unemployment for those born in Sweden is at the lowest point since the 2008 financial crisis at around 4.8 per cent, while foreign born unemployment is at 14.9 per cent.
This means that there are fewer people in Sweden paying tax into the generous “Swedish model” welfare system. Some have said that the influx of foreigners who do not work will strain the welfare system to the point of collapse as foreigners are expected to make up 60 per cent of unemployed residents in Sweden by 2017.
Fredrik Möller, integration officer at the Swedish employment agency Arbetsförmedlingen, said that there were just simply no programmes available for migrants to get them into jobs or training.
“They may be registered in our database as unemployed, but they are only entitled to basic services, that is using our online services and talking to advisors. But there are no programme-based alternatives, that are no courses and no traineeships,” he said.
The joblessness of new migrants in Sweden may not just be bad news for the Swedish economy but for Swedish security as well. Breitbart London has reported on Islamic State recruiters using employment agencies in the immigrant-dense town of Malmo as recruiting centres for the terror group.
Per-Ola Persson, who heads the security service for the employment agency, confirmed the claims stating:”There were indications that there were attempts to recruit into a terrorist organisation” at the job centres.