New unemployment figures show that the heavily migrant populated southern Swedish city of Malmö has an average unemployment rate twice that of the rest of the country.
By – Chris Tomlinson
The city’s rate of unemployment is said to top a staggering 14 percent, making the city on par with countries like Spain, which has a 16 percent unemployment rate, and behind Italy, which is at 11 percent.
Josef Lannemyr, an analyst at the Swedish Employment Service, lamented that many of the jobs in the city required a post-secondary education and that the pool of talent for such jobs simply was not there.
According to a 2017 report from the Swedish statistics agency, around 45 percent of the residents of Malmö come from a migrant background.
The municipalities with the highest number of migrant-background residents, Botkyrka (58.6 percent) and Södertälje (53 percent), were also measured in 2016 to have the highest unemployment rates in the entire country.
The data matches figures from last year which indicated the unemployment rate for Swedes with foreign backgrounds was 21.8 percent compared to a mere 3.9 percent for native Swedes. The migrant-background unemployment rate even topped the rate of unemployment in crisis-wracked Greece, which stood at 21.7 percent in June of last year.
Another report, released earlier this year, claimed that as many as six in ten job seekers in Sweden were born abroad.
National Institute of Economic Research forecast manager Ylva Hedén Westerdahl commented on the issue, saying: “Once you stay out of the labour market for a long time, you are forced to live off benefits, something that leaves a toll on the government finances.”
“It’s a generous system, but we need many people to work. If we are few, the tax burden will be high on those who do work. If we do not get more into the labour market, we will need to raise taxes in Sweden,” Westerdahl added.
Read more: From 2018/06/21