Scandinavian integration policies for refugees – An updated comparative analysis of qualification and labour-market integration outcomes.
8 May 2022
This comparative study analyse labour market integration of adult refugees settled in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden between 2008 and 2019. Altogether 280 000 adult refugees are included in the study and the analysis follow their integration into the labour market over time after granted residence permit.
How labour-market integration is measured affects the results substantially: when a low threshold is used for measuring employment among refugees, approximately 60 per cent of the men and 40–50 per cent of the women is found to be employed after several years in their new country. However, only about 35–40 per cent of the men and 15–20 per cent of the women reach earning levels just below the median income (among the general work force) after over 10 years in their new country.
The comparative analysis shows that Sweden and Norway have rather similar labour-market integration outcomes for refugees, whereas Denmark has substantially lower employment and earning levels – both in the shorter and the longer term.
All three Scandinavian countries have substantial earnings and employment gaps between men and women, but these gaps narrow somewhat after a refugee has several years of residence.