Rich towns receive fewer refugees
Refugees to Sweden aren't supposed to be led to live where there's housing but no jobs, said Minister for Integration Erik Ullenhag (the Liberal People’s Party) last summer. But that’s exactly what’s happening.
The municipalities with the lowest unemployment rates are those that receive the fewest refugees, according to a survey by Svenska Dagbladet. Danderyd, Vaxholm, Vallentuna, Täby, Ekerö, Lomma, Lidingö, Tjörn, Knivsta and Lerum—these are the communities with the lowest unemployment and therefore the ones which ought to take on the most refugees. Instead they receive the least number of refugees in comparison to their population. Says Karin Perols, investigator at Sveriges kommuner och landsting (the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions): ”It’s important for many municipalities to increase their influx of refugees. People moving into a municipality in general generates growth and employment.”
Södertälje receives three times as many refugees as the Swedish average, meanwhile this municipality has one of the highest unemployment rates.
"Language is first and foremost a factor when you apply for a job. When so many come from the same place, it is difficult to learn Swedish, since one doesn’t socialize with others who speak Swedish,” says Boel Godner, Södertälje’s mayor. She refers to Erik Ullenhag, who has calculated that it takes seven to 10 years for refugees to get to the point where they can support themselves. It also gets more difficult to get a job the longer one is unemployed.
Godner believes that Södertälje’s responsibility for the integration- and unemployment politics becomes national because they receive so many refugees. She says the entire country needs to help out so refugees who arrive to Sweden get as good a start as possible.

Karin Perols thinks the uneven distribution of refugees is mainly due to the rules for own accommodation (called EBO). EBO makes it possible for all newly arrived refugees to decide where they want to live, which many of them also do.
”Then they end up living where family and relatives already are. And there’s a higher rate of unemployment among foreign-born than those born in Sweden,” she says. While there are positive aspects with EBO, it may also lead to overcrowding and people settle down where there is also high unemployment. Ullenhag, on the other hand, is more interested in looking at the labor market regions, and points out that Södertälje is located in a strong such region. He adds that the government is tightening the legislation regarding the obligation for newly arrived refugees to move where there are jobs. If the job is in a place other than where you live, you are obliged to take it. "We have huge integration challenges, but the past years’ development are right, and many of the new jobs have gone to people born abroad,” he says.”