Jobs for Immigrants (Vol. 1)

Labour Market Integration in Australia, Denmark, Germany and Sweden

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When immigrants arrive in a new country, they are confronted with new labour market requirements such as language proficiency, familiarity with job search procedures and work practices which they are not always able to satisfy. These obstacles affect not only new immigrants, but, surprisingly, their children too, even if the children are born and educated in the receiving country.  This publication presents reviews of the labour market integration of immigrants and their children in four OECD countries (Australia, Denmark, Germany and Sweden), and provides country-specific recommendations. Governments have a role to play in promoting language and vocational training, and encouraging diversity in the workplace. Immigrants themselves must accept the requirements of the host country employers. The viability of future migration policies, in particular greater recourse to immigration, will depend to a large extent on how successful OECD countries and immigrants are in achieving these objectives.



The Labour Market Integration of Immigrants in Sweden

Sweden is not among the countries that generally come to mind when one considers the question of immigration in OECD countries and the integration of immigrants in the labour market. Yet it figures among OECD countries that have a relatively high share of foreign-born persons in its population (12.4%), almost as many in relative terms as the United States. This is not a recent development. At the beginning of the 1990s, the percentage was already between 9 and 10%, among them guest-worker migrants from the 1960s and early 1970s, persons from other Nordic countries having moved in the context of the Nordic common labour market (since 1954) and refugees and their families, for whom Sweden has long been viewed as a haven. However, apart from the free movement of persons from other Nordic countries and more recently, from other countries of the European Union, there has been little labour migration in Sweden since the first oil crisis.


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