Having previously described mass migration as a boon and a "competence rain," the Swedish government seems to have lowered its expectations and today hopes they will take on simple, low-wage jobs, such as berry-picking. However, this seasonal occupation won't be available to people from outside the EU. To make things work, the Swedish government hopes to change its laws on labor migration.
"I believe this kind of job must be reserved to put people who have come to Sweden to work" Swedish Industry Minister Mikael Damberg said, as quoted by Swedish national broadcaster SVT.
In the future, these jobs should exclusively go to immigrants living within Sweden, according to an opinion piece Mikael Damberg and Swedish Trade Union Confederation Chief Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson penned jointly for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. The aim is to reduce the rampant unemployment among the recent "crop" of migrants.
"We have to deal with a situation where 163,000 people sought asylum in Sweden during a single year, which is the equivalent of a new Sundsvall and a new Kalmar combined [both significant Swedish cities]. Never before has Sweden received so many people in such a short time," Damberg and Thorwaldsson stressed in their article, emphasizing the fact that three fourths of the newcomers were under 40 years of age.
"There are rules today according to which they forfeit state support if they refuse to take the job," Mikael Damberg told SVT.
In 2016, eyebrows were raised when Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven pledged to put greater focus on job creation in Sweden and mobilize at least 30,000 menial jobs in both the private and public sectors in a bid to make Sweden the EU country with the lowest unemployment. However, things didn't go as smoothly as planned.
Recently, the Swedish Employment Service admitted that it had failed to create local jobs and announced it will return a major 3.5-billion-SEK contribution ($400mln) to the state. The money was specifically earmarked to create subsidized jobs for the long-term unemployed, SVT reported.
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