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MIM Working paper series 17:5 The Labour-Market Participation of Highly Skilled Immigrants in Sweden: An Overview

MIM Working Paper Series 17:5

The Labour-Market Participation of Highly Skilled Immigrants in Sweden: An Overview 


Nahikari Irastorza, Willy Brandt research fellow, Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity, and Welfare (MIM).

Pieter Bevelander, Professor in IMER at MIM, Malmö Institute of Migration, Diversity and Welfare and a senior lecturer at the School of IMER, Malmö University.

Published 2017

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This paper provides an overview of the socio-demographic characteristics, labour-market participation and occupational mobility of highly educated immigrants1 in Sweden. Based on a statistical analysis of register data, we compare their employment rates, salaries and occupational skill level and mobility to those of immigrants with lower education and with natives. Among the questions addressed in this paper are: What is the socio-demographic profile of highly skilled immigrants to Sweden? Where do they come from and how do they enter the country? Are there differences in highly educated immigrants’ employment rates by citizenship status, migration entry route and place of birth? How do the salaries of highly educated men and women compare between immigrants and natives? What is the education-to-job match for them? How do occupational mobility patterns compare for highly educated immigrants versus those with lower education? Finally, are there differences in occupational skill level for highly educated migrants by entry route? Our results show that, while highly skilled immigrants perform better than those with a lower educational level, they never catch up with their native counterparts. 

Keywords: Highly skilled, immigrants, labour market, integration, overview, Sweden 

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