ONE CAN BE CRITICAL and ask How were the numbers gathered? By noticing an uptick in the number of foreigners paying income taxes... or by noticing a downturn in the number of people registered with the agency? (If Jack is no longer registered with Arbetsförmedlingen because he has enrolled in a full time educational program and gains CSN funding, BUT he continues to seek qualified employment... Jack is not technically unemployed, right?)
ONE CAN BE SKEPTICAL and ask What does it mean when someone is working in a position that requires higher education? Does this take into account skills and experience, too? (If Jill has a bachelors degree and 15 years of work experience but finds herself in a role that requires just a bachelors degree... she is not technically overqualified, right?)
ONE CAN SEE POSITIVE INDICATIONS but one must not be satisfied. The numbers*, however they were gathered, really say this: It took eight years for just a 13% improvement in how many educated foreigners found qualified jobs here in Sweden and that Swedes´ employment levels are 20% higher, despite this improvement.
ARBETSFÖRMEDLINGEN UNDERSTANDS THAT A DISCREPENCY EXISTS and states this in their reported figures. For the past three years, the agency has administered a successful program called Nationell Matchning. This effort connects foreign academics with companies in an internship and continued education context. Many internships indeed led to jobs. The program is coming to a close, and SIT has been invited to attend the reporting session on December 10th in Stockholm. We are looking forward to learning more about the program as a model for labor market integration and hope to meet many of the actors who will surely be present. Including the politicians and business leaders.
*These numbers do not seem to include foreigners from other parts of Europe, according to the Arbetsförmedlingen report.