Sweden: Nearly Half of Unemployed Migrants Lack High School Education

School Performance

The Swedish Public Employment Office has revealed that 43 per cent of foreigners without work lack a high school education, compared to 18 per cent of native-born unemployed.

The agency stated that the current unemployment rate in the country had topped nine per cent. In just one week, 12,790 people signed up as job seekers with the Employment Office.

According to a press release from Monday, foreign-born migrants have been the hardest hit by the economic impact of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, as many of them are also new to the Swedish labour market.

The most important factor in long-term unemployment, according to the agency, is a high school education. The agency noted that nearly half, 43 per cent, of foreign-born people who are unemployed and registered with the Employment Service lack secondary education.

The industry hardest hit in Sweden since March have been the hotel and restaurant services, with more than 19,000 people losing their jobs, followed by manufacturing and the travel and rental industries.

Swedish unemployment statistics have revealed a huge discrepancy between the rates for native Swedes and migrants for several years. In 2018, the native Swedish rate stood at 3.6 per cent, while the migrant rate was just under 20 per cent.

The employment service has attempted to get migrants into work using subsidised job programmes in non-profit or government agencies. But the 2019 rate of employment for those new migrants signed up with the Employment Office and not in a subsidised job was as low as 6.1 per cent.

The high rates of foreign-born unemployment come as little shock, as the employment service predicted in February that migrant unemployment rates would increase to the worst levels since the 1990s.

The report also cited the lack of high school education for many migrants, particularly foreign-born women.


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