Chapter

The Farther They Come, the Harder They Fall? First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in the Swedish Labour Market

JAN O. JONSSON

in Unequal Chances

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263860
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734953 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263860.003.0011

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Farther They Come, the Harder They Fall? First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in the Swedish Labour Market

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Sweden has been an immigrant country since World War II, with a mix of labour (especially from neighbouring Nordic countries) and refugee immigration up to the early 1970s and a large inflow of refugees, especially from the Middle East, after that. In 2002, almost 13 percent of the Swedish population was born in another country, summing up to more than one million inhabitants out of a total nine million. Labour immigrants arriving before 1970 used to have a labour-market achievement on a par with native Swedes. In recent decades, however, the first generation of immigrants, particularly those of non-European origin, have had relatively poor success in the labour market. This is counterbalanced by two facts: first, immigrants' labour-market attainment improves with years of residence in Sweden; second, there is considerable assimilation across generations. The second generation (born in Sweden, or who immigrated before starting school) do almost as well in the labour market as those with two Swedish-born parents. The remaining worry for this group is their relatively low employment rates.

Keywords: Sweden; labour market; immigrants; employment; refugees; assimilation; first generation; second generation

Chapter.  22705 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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