The Swedish Employment Agency has released new statistics on unemployment that shows the employment for Swedes who have a foreign background is far greater than native Swedes.
The agency released a report Monday saying that the total Swedish unemployment rate sits at 7.3 percent nationwide but the gap between native Swedes and those with a foreign background is considerable. The agency said that among native Swedes the unemployment rate is 3.9 percent in July while 21.8 percent of Swedes with foreign backgrounds are unemployed Sverige Radio reports.
If only the unemployment rate of native Swedes is taken into account then Sweden would have one of the lowest unemployment rates in any country within the European Union being only surpassed by the Czech Republic at 2.9 percent and Germany at 3.9 percent, according to official European Union statistics from June.
The migrant-background unemployment statistics, on the other hand, would surpass the Greek unemployment rate which was 21.8 percent in June which would give Sweden the highest unemployment in the EU.
The national unemployment rate of 7.3 percent falls just below the average of the EU as a whole which sits at 7.7 percent.
Annika Sundén, who works as an analyst manager at the Employment Service commented on the report saying, “We still have a very strong job growth. At the same time, there are more people who want to enter the labour market, which causes the number of unemployed to rise slightly. This is a pending trend, not to be seen as a sign of a weaker labour market.”
“Many people lack education that is sustainable in the Swedish labour market,” Sundén said.
Sweden has had difficulty in getting new migrants into the work force as the agency complained last month that only three percent of recently arrived migrants showed any interest in sitting in classes and acquiring new skills.
Annie Rubensson, integration and establishment manager at the Employment Service said that many of the recently arrived migrants were lacking even a high school level education.
The statistics also show that unemployment rate for those with a migrant background has gone up since the first quarter of 2017 in which only 16 percent were without work. The number for native Swedes, however, has gone down from 4.9 percent in the first quarter.
Despite the statistics, some Swedes have claimed the Swedish economy would fall apart without illegal migration. Swedish writer Åsa Linderborg wrote in April against the deportation of failed asylum seekers saying, “It’s equally true that Sweden would stop working if the tens of thousands of undocumented migrants who are here vanished for real.”