Norway loses billions due to overqualified immigrants

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Norway loses billions due to the waste of overqualified immigrant labour

Thousands of immigrants work in low-income jobs for which they are over-qualified. The cost to Norway is NOK 5 to 6 billion each year, according to the Aftenposten newspaper.

 

Almost every fifth immigrant has a higher education, i.e. a university or college education, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).

At the same time, a survey conducted for the Inclusion Committee showed that the loss through over-qualification of unskilled workers is estimated at NOK 2 million per person over a ten-year period.

The A magazine revealed that this amounts to a loss of over five billion kroner a year if one takes into account the 28,000 immigrants who are considered to be over-qualified labour.

Hypothetical values

‘Such calculations are always uncertain. The estimate will depend on the criteria underlying it, however, the figure is extremely high, and it shows the value of people being enabled to use their qualifications,’ said Tyra Ekhaugen,economist and general manager of Vista Analysis AS, to Aftenposten.

The analysis company calculated socioeconomic loss by looking at the difference between actual, and hypothetical, salaries, based on the fact that someone with higher qualifications produces goods and services of higher krone
value.

They also included the cost of educating a person to the professional level that the immigrant has, but doesn’t use,given that society needs this level of competence.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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