Elena Kotyrlo

This paper examines the earnings development and labour force participation of female immigrants compared to Swedish-born women in Västerbotten and Norrbotten (Sweden). A total of 10% of the women residing in these two counties have a foreign background. Female immigrants, mostly originating from Finland, Norway, Thailand, Iraq, and the former Soviet Union, vary greatly in their cultural and family values, education, and job experiences. Ethnic and geographical differences in labour market outcomes are hypothesized in the paper. The study is based on panel data analysis of registered individual data for the period 1995–2009. The data presented here show that differences in earnings and labour force participation can be explained by individual characteristics such as age, education, civil status, and years since migration. Ethnic differences diminish with integration period, though not in each group of immigrants. Gaps in labour outcomes are less evident for skilled immigrants. The ethnic differences are also less pronounced for female labour immigrants compared to women who immigrated for other reasons. There is a slight geographical variation in labour market outcomes, but no obvious trends are seen in the spatial distribution of them.

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