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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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