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Cleaning jobs common among foreign born people in Sweden

Staff writer |
The most common occupation among foreign born persons on the Swedish labour market was cleaning in 2014.

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In this group, nearly two out of three men and one out of two women were foreign born. This corresponds to 15 percent of all employed persons.

Starting with the 2014 survey, occupations are reported according to the Swedish Standard Classification of Occupations (SSYK 2012). It reflects today's occupational structure better than the previous occupational classification (SSYK 96).

Of the 4 214 600 employees aged 16-64 on the Swedish labour market, 15 percent were foreign born in 2014. Cleaners accounted for the most common occupations among foreign born persons. The occupation is clearly dominated by women among foreign born, with 69 percent women.

Of the 15 most common occupations among foreign born persons, the occupations that were most dominated by men were bus and tram drivers at 94 percent.

Helpers in restaurants were the occupation that had the most even distribution of the sexes among the 15 most common occupations among foreign born persons, with 49 percent women and 51 percent men.

The most common occupation for foreign born men was Warehouse and terminal staff while the most common occupations for foreign born women were Assistant nurses, home care and homes for the elderly. The next most common occupation among both foreign born men and women was Cleaner, where 65 percent of the 16 500 men in the occupation and 46 percent of the 52 600 women were foreign born.

Among employed foreign born persons, 29 percent had post secondary education that was 3 years or longer, while the corresponding figure for Swedish born persons was 26 percent.

Nevertheless, foreign born persons were employed in occupations with lower requirements for qualifications than were Swedish born persons.

11 percent of the foreign born persons who worked in occupations that only required a shorter education or introduction had long post-secondary education. The corresponding figure for Swedish born persons was 3 percent.

Among persons who worked in occupations that normally require upper secondary education, like work in construction or the manufacturing industry, 72 percent of the Swedish born persons had upper secondary education, while the corresponding figure for foreign born persons was 55 percent.

In this case, a greater share of Swedish born persons than foreign born persons had an education that matched the education requirement for the occupation.

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