Sweden needs more migrants to keep its vast welfare state afloat despite the high unemployment rate for foreigners, according to the country’s Public Employment Service Director General Mikael Sjöberg.
Mr Sjöberg, along with labour market analyst Torbjörn Israelsson, argues that the increase in the country’s elder population in coming decades could lead to a collapse of the welfare state without added migration, Nyheter Idag reports.
The pair, do, however, acknowledge the huge disparity between the employment rate of native-born Swedes and foreign-born residents which was highlighted in a report last year that showed natives to have a low 3.6 per cent unemployment rate while the rate for foreigners was 19.9 per cent.
The unemployment difference is also clearly seen in the heavily migrant-populated city of Malmö where the unemployment rate is double the national average.
Sjöberg and Israelsson singled out foreign-born women for improvement, and they believe focusing on them could raise the overall unemployment rate among migrants in the country.
Another option considered was the idea that older workers could retire later, which could also add significant tax revenue.
Swiss Study Reveals Immigration Produces Long Term Economic Harm https://t.co/oXRXAiyjIL
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In December 2017, the government proposed raising the retirement age to pay for the costs of the mass movement of people into Sweden during the height of the migrant crisis.
Swedish Socialist party finance minister Magdalena Andersson announced the proposal saying, “Looking at those who start working at 30, there should be opportunities to work longer than 65.”
In order to keep the welfare system afloat, the two authors say that Sweden needs at least 60,000 net migrants per year.
Last year, the Swedish government granted 132,000 residency permits, with most of them going to asylum seekers and family members of asylum seekers. Just over 41,000 of the permits were for employment and labour purposes.