“These refugees and immigrants came at precisely the right time,” says Lars Christensen, an economist and founder of Markets & Money Advisory, a consulting firm. “I’m worried about the lack of incentives [to work] in the Swedish welfare state, but I’m not worried about the 250,000 refugees that have arrived.”
Gross domestic product increased more than 3 percent in the first two quarters of the year, which is considerably faster than the euro zone’s roughly 2 percent growth. In recent years, Sweden has granted thousands of work permits to information technology developers, berry pickers, and cooks. Foreign-born workers accounted for all the job growth in the industrial sector last year and for 90 percent of the new jobs in the welfare sector, in particular health care and elderly care.
Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson on Aug. 16 said the new arrivals are now getting jobs twice as fast as immigrants who arrived late in the last decade. Immigrants in Sweden have a labor force participation rate of about 82 percent, some 4 percentage points higher than the EU average.
Refugees, per se, are certainly not a bad thing. We can all be made refugees. Do we want others to turn their backs on us or to refuse to help us in our times of need?
The entire planet should have a well-designed and operable plan for handling all manner of refugee situations so that no nation-state is overwhelmed and found needlessly suffering. A plan won't guarantee no problems, but it will guarantee vastly fewer.
Refugees need to be put to work and must follow rules. Putting them to work is far from impossible. One of Sweden's biggest mistakes is blocking refugees from working. You don't hear about that in the right-wing media, at least not the US right-wing media.