Combatting long-term unemployment among immigrants

During the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrants were more likely to face long-term unemployment than their native-born peers across all Nordic countries. The unemployment rates for foreign-born rose even further in 2020. In 2021, this trend was reversed, and unemployment rates decreased again. This report, written by Nordregio researchers and published by the Nordic Council of Ministers, aims to identify key policy measures, institutions, civil society actors, and initiatives that have been used to address the situation.

The report has three main objectives:

  • It describes the extent of the challenge posed by long-term unemployment among immigrants in each Nordic country before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It elucidates how long-term unemployment and labour market inactivity among immigrants have been discussed and approached at the national level in each Nordic country during and after the pandemic.
  • It also highlights local practices that have proved successful in helping long-term unemployed, non-European, often poorly educated immigrants improve their skills and find work – and analyse what these practices have in common and what we can learn from them.