Labor Market Integration of Refugees in Finland

Authors: Matti Sarvimäki

Publication: VATT Research Reports 185

Date: 21.2.2017


This paper documents Finland’s policy response to the increase in asylum applications in 2015 and the labor market performance of earlier immigrants living in Finland. Immigrants born in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia had substantially lower employment rates, earned less and received more social benefits than other immigrant groups or natives in 1990–2013. The immigrant-native gaps in employment and earnings decreased over time but remained large. Ten years after arriving in Finland, the average earnings of immigrant men from these countries were only 22–38 percent of the average earnings of native men of the same age. The relative earnings of women were even smaller. Furthermore, the difference in equivalence-scaled social benefits persisted over time despite the narrowing of earnings gaps.

Published: Labor Market Integration of Refugees in Finland, Nordic Economic Policy Review, 2017, 7(1): 91-114.

Main research themes: Labour markets and education

asylum seekers employment immigration integration refugees

ISBN: ISBN 978-952-274-187-5 (PDF)