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Segregation, and slightly higher crime rates among immigrants didn't appear until after 1990, when Sweden abolished full employment policies.

The unemployment rate among Sweden's "native-born" population was 4.8% as of September 2017, but 15.4% among the "foreign-born" population.  (Labor participation rate for native-borns: 83.7%; for foreign-borns: 78.4%.)

What accounts for this disparity in unemployment rate between "native-born" and "foreign-born" population? Government policy? Retail racism (implicit as well as overt)? Self-segregration by immigrant communities?

A quote by an "American-educated Somali immigrant who works as a policy analyst at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce,...  grew up and now lives in the suburb of Rinkeby-Tensta, where some 90 percent of residents have a foreign background, roughly 80 percent live on welfare or earn low incomes and 42 percent are under age 25":

"When I came here in 1998, to me this place was paradise. Today, I wouldn't want my children to grow up here."

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Sun Sep 9th, 2018 at 12:38:08 PM EST
There is certainly self-segregation, but I don't think it accounts for unemployment.

Based mostly on my own experiences and comparing with friends at university, whenever there is a squeeze at the labour market those with least useful connections fare worst. You miss that entry job, or that next step, and then you are objectively less qualified next time.

And sure, retail racism is part of it. But more so lacking the right network. And that is why I am sceptical against self-segregation as much of an explanation, because it is not like you suddenly will have a great native-born network if you move to a predominately native-born suburb. Instead you may end up isolated in a very implicit social surrounding. Swedes are in general nice to foreigners - or for that matter strangers in general - but we tend to scare easily if the social context gets to deep quickly. I guess that is why we are nice, so we don't have to deal with conflicts. Loneliness is a big problem. Some communities run "borrow a Swede" programs, to try and combat loneliness among Swedes and lack of connections among the recently arrived.

So the way I see it is someone has to be unemployed if you run NAIRU style economic politics. After almost thirty years of it, it is clear that that someone is anyone who has less connections then their peers. Which is predominately - but not only - foreign borns.

by fjallstrom on Sun Sep 9th, 2018 at 01:34:21 PM EST
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Lacking the right network, indeed, must be a big factor.

I think helping immigrants understand and adjust to Sweden's cultural environment would help with that a lot, as well as reduce retail racism and discrimination.

I found this (quite long) article very informative and eye-opening about Sweden's efforts to integrate immigrants both economically and culturally:

How is Sweden tackling its integration challenge? | The Local

"... Compared to our neighbouring countries of Denmark and Norway, Sweden is mostly doing a bit better in labour market integration of refugees though. It's doing quite well so far, and certainly not worse than its neighbours," he [Professor Pieter Bevelander, an integration expert from the Malmö Institute of Migration, Diversity and Welfare] says.

Plenty is being done in Sweden to try to aid the side of integration linked to employment, but what about less quantifiable questions of culture and social norms which some would argue are equally important?

It's those things that Mustafa Panshiri focuses on in his work. A former police officer, he recently quit his job to focus full-time on travelling around Sweden and speaking to lone refugee children (more than 37,500 have come to Sweden since 2015) about the process of adapting to their new country. In his opinion, helping the kids to get a proper understanding of Swedish values is vital if they are going to integrate.

"A job is important of course, but integration is also to do with respecting Swedish society's values and rules. What I focus on is what it means for someone who comes from Afghanistan for example to enter a democratic society. How can that transition impact a person's view of life? How can the ideas they bring with them collide with ideas in Sweden? I try to find a common ground between the kids and Swedish society," he tells The Local. ...

... "When I walk into the room I look like the kids, speak the same language as them. And you know, when we speak about these things - things we take as a given here in Sweden like equality of the sexes, for example - it can be a challenge for them. But that reduces to some degree when they speak with me. I can say to them 'I made that journey'." ...

... Some of the most popular pages so far are those with information about making friends in Sweden. Something that could be a big factor for the youngsters one day integrating into Swedish society.

"We can already see from the few statistics we have that exactly those pages about meeting new friends have been really popular. It's a really important issue: it can often be that someone comes here and perhaps lives in a home and is isolated from other Swedish kids as the home is a bit further out of town. So they're very interested in learning how you go about forming friendships," [Youmo project leader Lotta] Nordh Rubulis explains.

"Many of them have also lived a very gender segregated life and perhaps never had a friend from the opposite sex. It's exciting to see (them learning about that)." ...

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Sun Sep 9th, 2018 at 02:14:38 PM EST
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Well, as a dedicated introvert living in Norway, may I say that I'm perfectly happy being left alone.
by Andhakari on Sun Sep 9th, 2018 at 05:25:46 PM EST
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