Sweden's national job agency Arbetsförmedlingen predicted on Tuesday that 149,000 new jobs will be created in 2017 and 2018, with the majority of those going to foreign-born workers.
“Eight out of ten new jobs go to foreign-born people at the same time as the employment rate among foreigners increases by two percentage points. That is a happy message in a time when there are many new arrivals who have to enter the Swedish labour market,” said Arbetsförmedlingen's director-general, Mikael Sjöberg, in a statement as the agency presented its new prognosis.
However, those with high levels of education are still more likely to benefit from the increase in employment than those with lower levels of education, the agency noted in its report.
Unemployment among foreigners also remains higher than among people born in Sweden. In the first quarter of 2017 the unemployment rate for Swedes was 4.9 percent compared to 16 percent for those not born in Sweden.
Sweden saw record levels of immigration in 2015 and providing jobs for everyone is one of the main challenges. “We are at an extremely intense stage, because this spring many of those who arrived in 2015 have come to us,” said Sjöberg. “At the same time we're seeing that temporary residence permits are reducing interest among certain groups, so it is a big challenge for us.”
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The country's total unemployment rate is expected to drop from 7.0 percent to 6.6 percent this year, and rise slightly again to 6.7 percent in 2018, according to Arbetsförmedlingen.
A total of 348,000 people are expected to be unemployed in Sweden in 2018.
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