Last year almost 21,000 work permits and around 10,000 permit extensions for migrant workers from outside the EU were granted, which is the highest figure recorded so far.
The issue has been at the forefront of political debate in recent years and in the spring the Social Democrats presented a proposal to entirely stop migrant workers in professions in which there is no labour shortage. However, in the 73-point agreement negotiated with the Centre Party and Liberals the party has now given its support to current rules.
In a report commissioned by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt näringsliv) and carried out by analytical company Damvad, it states that foreign labour led to a GDP increase of SEK 34 billion. Turnover in companies that employed foreign labour grew by SEK 64 billion.
Martin Ådahl (C), whose party supports liberal labour immigration, is not surprised: “It is a direct effect of resolving bottlenecks and creating jobs and the indirect effect of having a working system that means people want to come here.”
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