Swedish Professor of Economics Mats Hammarstedt has rejected claims that mass migration can be economically beneficial over the long term, citing problems of integration.
Professor Hammarstedt, who teaches at the Linnaeus University in Växjö and the Institute for Business Research, said that integration failures, particularly of asylum seekers, have contributed to a much higher unemployment rate among migrants over the long-term.
In an article for the Swedish publication Dagens Industri, Hammarstedt said: “The lack of integration of foreign-born people into the labour market is well documented and the situation has remained largely unchanged in recent decades.”
He added: “Every year, the public sector redistributes resources from domestic-born to foreign-born, and the long time it takes for refugee immigrants and their relatives to establish themselves in the labour market means that refugee immigration entails a cost to public finances even long after the refugees have immigrated to Sweden.”
The professor gave an example of unemployment rates for African and Asian migrants across nearly a decade, writing: “For people born in Africa and Asia (aged 15 to 75), unemployment in 2010 was 26 per cent and 24 per cent respectively. In 2019, the unemployment rate in these groups was almost exactly the same levels (26 per cent and 22 per cent respectively).”
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“Thus, the share of unemployed in these groups remained largely unchanged during a period when the groups have almost doubled in size. This development of recent decades thus means that the group of unemployed in Sweden is increasingly made up of people born in countries outside Europe,” he added.
According to the professor, a long-term economic benefit from mass migration can only be seen when there is successful integration.
“Instead, the problems risk worsening in the long term, as new people are constantly to be integrated and unemployment in the growing groups remains largely unchanged,” he said.
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The Swedish academic joins several others over the years who have challenged the idea that mass migration is an economic positive for countries receiving migrants.
In 2016, a study from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, Germany, found that language barriers and lack of qualifications among migrants led to a higher overall unemployment rate and lower tax revenue in the long-term.
The French parliament released a similar study in January which was slightly more optimistic, saying mass migration was a net neutral for the economy but did not boost growth.
The report noted that 43 per cent, nearly half, of migrants coming to France had no school diploma or college education.
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