Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 107

107 Arctic Yearbook 2014   municipalities were aggregated into local labour market areas that were identified by Statistics Sweden (SCB) as groups of municipalities that are assumed to be self-sufficient in terms of jobs and labour supply. SCB classifies immigrants by geography of origin into fifteen groups. Based on the assumption that immigrant groups are homogenous in terms of labour market characteristics, immigrant women were aggregated in the study into the following four types: 1) the Nordic countries other than Sweden, 2) Europe, except the Nordic countries, the former Yugoslavia, and countries that made up parts of the former Soviet Union, 3) the group of countries among which refugees make up the majority of immigrants, including Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, Central and Southern Africa, Iraq/Iran, and the former Yugoslavia (called the “refugee” group), and 4) immigrants from the rest of the world, including the former Soviet Union, Asia, South America, North America, Japan, and Oceania (called “the others”). The empirical estimation supports ethnic differences in earnings and LFP. This study provides a better understanding of labour market outcomes of female immigrants with children. This can help to further the development of integration, labour market, and family policies to decrease employment inequality between Swedish and immigrant women. The results support a firm growth in earnings with increase of integration period. The estimates suggest that after five years since in-migration the gap in earnings between Swedish-born and immigrant mothers disappears for the majority of ethnic groups. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses findings on earnings development and the LFP of female immigrants. The hypotheses, methods of conducting the empirical study, and a description of the data are presented in Section 3. Section 4 contains the empirical results and Section 5 provides the conclusions of the study. Background At present, immigration to Sweden consists of 35% refugees, 18% immigrants with residence rights given to European Economic Area nationals, 20% labour immigrants, 13% students, and 12% others. Bi-national marriages are one of the important channels of immigration (Frändberg & Vilhelmson 2011; Haandrikam 2014), and this has increased in recent years due to globalization, EU expansion, travelling, living and working abroad, and Internet bride services (Ellegård & Vilhelmson 2004). Municipalities accept quota refugees granted by residence permit in Sweden within the UN Refugee Agency activity (Lemaître 2007). This eventually reduces population and economic decline in the remote areas, by increasing the size of transfers to municipal budgets and growing demand on public services and other services and goods. Refugees are assigned to municipalities throughout Sweden upon agreements between the Swedish Integration Board and the municipalities regarding the number of refugees that the municipalities can handle (ibid). The immigrants attend an integration programme and receive a monetary allowance for approximately 24 months (ibid). It is expected that after the programme, immigrants of working age will be able to enter the labour market and support themselves (ibid). Immigrants can attend public Swedish language courses and vocational training to adapt to the national labour market. Labour Market Outcomes of Migrant Women in Västerbotten & Norrbotten