This register-based study examined the importance of education on labour market participation among young refugees in Sweden. The study population consisted of unaccompanied (n = 1606) and accompanied refuges (n = 4142), aged 23–26 years in 2006–2010, after 7 years of residence in Sweden. Native Swedish, aged 24 years (n = 347,255) constituted the comparison population, with intercountry adoptees (n = 6689) as an alternative reference group. Gender-stratified multinomial regression models indicated that unaccompanied and accompanied male and female young refugees had higher risks of being in insecure work force and NEET compared to native Swedes with comparable levels of education. However, young refugees and intercountry adoptees with primary education had similar risks of poor labour market outcomes. The educational differences within each group concerning the risk of being in insecure work force were comparable. With the exception of unaccompanied females, secondary education seemed to be less protective against being in NEET among young refugees compared to native Swedes and intercountry adoptees. We conclude that while young refugees face employment disadvantages, education has the potential of mitigating poor labour market outcomes in this group.

DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2018.1521952
ISSN: 1367-6261