After Years of Open Borders, Sweden Unemployment Rate Approaches Highest in EU


Sweden’s unemployment rate is rising and is now one of the highest in the European Union, despite Prime Minister Stefan Löfven promising to reduce it.

New Eurostat figures reveal that the country is now 24th out of 28 EU member states in unemployment levels, Expressen reports.

Löfven had set a goal in 2013 for Sweden to have the lowest unemployment rate in the entire EU by 2020. With that year fast approaching, the country’s unemployment is now near the levels of France, Italy, Spain, and Greece, the latter of which has seen systemic unemployment for years.

Expressen notes that the 2015 migration crisis has played a significant factor in the rise of unemployment. Statistics consistently reveal that migrants have a much higher unemployment rate on average than native Swedes.

Figures released in 2018 revealed that while the native Swedish unemployment rate sat at a low 3.6 per cent, the migrant proportion was 19.9 per cent, rivalling that of Greece.

Integration of migrants into the Swedish labour market has been slow going for the government and the expense of hosting large numbers of unemployable migrants is putting many local municipalities at risk of a financial crisis. Some have even openly spoken of potential bankruptcy.

The municipality of Bengtsfors petitioned the Swedish national government in August saying that they needed cash to cover the costs of taking in so many migrants and asylum seekers.

“Costs in municipalities that have received new arrivals have continued to be substantial even when government revenues have stopped. This creates a large negative hole in the municipal cash register,” Bengtsfors Moderate Party politician Stig Bertilsson said.

The municipality of Filipstad went public weeks later, stating they had similar problems covering costs of migrants. Filipstad also noted that many residents had left the area, dwindling the tax base even further.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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