Newcomers in the North: Labor Market Integration of Refugees in Northern Europe
In 2015 and 2016, nearly 2.7 million asylum seekers arrived in the European Union, comprising the largest mass movement in Europe since World War II. More than half chose to apply for asylum on the northernmost edge of the continent: Germany was the top destination country by far, but much-smaller Sweden received more asylum applications relative to its population. The Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark also saw significant numbers. Since then, these five countries—high-income states known for their generous welfare systems and hospitality toward protection seekers—have turned to the sizable task of integrating the new arrivals into the labor market.