Government admits highly educated immigrants earn "significantly" less than Finns
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment says there is an "ethnically hierarchical" labor market, where locals earn more and have easier access to jobs.
The Government of Finland recognizes that the country has difficulties in integrating immigrants in various fields. One of them is that of work, and in that sense it points out that one of the problems is that the Finnish labor market is "ethnically hierarchical," in which locals earn more and have easier access to jobs.
This conclusion is one of the results of a comprehensive review of integration published every four years by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Employment's center of Expertise in immigrant integration. This year, the study has been divided into five themes: employment, education, wellbeing, participation and two-way integration.
According to a release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the articles in the review note that currently in Finland "the labour market was ethnically hierarchical: the earnings level and employment rate of highly educated immigrants who stayed in Finland was significantly below those of Finns."
In addition, the review highlights another problem already noted by a research conducted at the university of Helsinki: the number of applications immigrants needed to send before they received an invitation to an interview was much higher compared to Finns even if their education and skills profiles were identical to those of Finnish applicants.
Attitudes of society
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, "the individual characteristics of immigrants, such as education or language skills, do not explain these integration and employment trends; it is a broader issue involving immigration policy and the attitudes of society."
"Integration as a phenomenon covers multiple dimensions and factors, and involves participation from both the receiving society and the immigrants themselves. The receptiveness of working life affects the employment opportunities of immigrants, and conversely, employment affects the social participation of immigrants, which is an important contributor to successful integration," explains Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
On the positive side, the articles in the review note that Finland attracts international students, and that students with an immigrant background are able to repay this investment to society after graduation.
At the end of 2018, the number of population in Finland with an immigrant background was approximately 400,000.
Migration to Finland has been rising at a steady rate since the 1990s, with growth expected to continue.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs emphasizes that in order to ensure the successful integration of immigrants, Finland needs multiple perspectives on the type of support immigrants need, what are their strengths and challenges in terms of integration and how social structures support non-discrimination.