Class more decisive of educational level than ethnical background


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Children of parents with academic background continue studying after upper secondary school to almost the same extent, irrespective of having parents born in Sweden or abroad. However, it is more difficult for young people with foreign background to establish themselves in the Swedish labour market than it is for young people with parents born in Sweden.
These are the findings of the LO study on young people’s establishment in the labour market, which was published at the end of February in the report “Establishment in the labour market – how class, gender and ethnicity govern young people’s conditions.

- Our starting point was to examine the conditions for a more equal society. The definite most important measure to resort to in order to succeed in achieving this, is to provide study possibilities. To improve people’s economic standard and increase equality, everybody must be given the possibilities of acquiring the vocational training which is in demand in the labour market.

Generally, it has become tougher for young people to establish themselves in the labour market. Among those born before 1971, 70 per cent had entered the labour market at the age of 21. For those born in the early 1980s, this figure is 40 per cent. The unemployment rate is also higher among younger people.

The study also shows that it is worthwhile studying. Those who have attended vocationally-oriented programmes in secondary high school have higher incomes than those who have not. The compensation for post-secondary high school studies is in the proportion of 4 - 8 per cent higher income for every extra year of studies.

- Women seem to have a strategy to resort to in order to avoid discriminating situations and thereby opt for longer education programmes than men do. Their achievements, however, are not paid for to the same extent as those of men. From the very beginning women have lower wages than men and these seem to persist all through professional life. The wage gaps are nevertheless smaller between men and women blue-collar workers than between women and men white-collar workers, Jenny Lindblad, LO expert, says.