Finland: Major Unemployment Differences Among Immigrant Groups
According to a previous article I posted, unemployment among Somalis was 43% in 2008. Here it's 55%.
There are significant differences in the employment situation for immigrants of different nationalities in Finland. The highest rates of unemployment are found among Somalis, Iraqis and Afghans who arrived as refugees. Annika Forsander, who is Director of Immigration Affairs for the City of Helsinki, is especially critical of employer discrimination against Somalis.
Figures from Statistics Finland show that unemployment rates vary greatly according to nationality. Refugees top the list of those without jobs. For example, the rate of unemployment for Somalis, Iraqis and Afghans is over 50%. That they ended up in Finland, in many cases, was a matter of chance and finding a way into the job market can take years.
The Director of Immigration Affairs for the City of Helsinki, Annika Forsander, is dismayed by the position of Somalis in the Finnish capital. In other countries, Somali immigrants have integrated well into society.
"Discrimination is clearly the big reason why Somalis have not been able to enter the job market, even though of those who have been here 15 to 20 years, half have completed degrees in Finland. Not even that helps," says Forsander.
Language skills often an excuse used by employers to turn down foreign job applicants.
"If someone has been able to complete a degree using Finnish, it is hard to accuse him or her of lacking language skills," Forsander points out.
Because of difficulties in finding a job, resident foreigners often start their own business.
The most entrepreneurial group are Turks. One third of residents of Turkish origin run their own businesses. Among native Finns, that figure is only 10%.
Source: YLE (English)