Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Sweden 2011
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Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Sweden 2011

Sweden reformed its labour migration management policy in 2008 and now has one of the most liberal labour migration regimes in the OECD. This book attempts to answer the question of whether Sweden’s labour migration policy is efficiently working to meet labour market needs that were not being met, without adversely affecting the domestic labour market. The review also examines the impact of the reform on labour migration flows to Sweden and on access to recruitment from abroad by Swedish employers.

After the reform, employers in Sweden were able to recruit  workers from abroad for any occupation, as long as the job had been advertised for a nominal period and the prevailing collective bargaining wage and contractual conditions were respected. Overall, Sweden’s new system has not led to a boom in labour migration, although this somewhat surprising result may be related to the slack labour market. The faith in employers appears to be largely justified until now, although there are some vulnerabilities in the system which could be addressed, especially in monitoring workplaces not covered by collective bargaining, and marginal businesses. The particularities of the relatively highly regulated labour market in Sweden may mean that this model is not easily transferable to other countries, but lessons can be drawn for other countries.

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Publication Date :
19 Dec 2011
DOI :
10.1787/9789264167216-en
 
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Drawing lessons from Sweden's labour migration policy You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Pages :
131–133
DOI :
10.1787/9789264167216-11-en

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Sweden provides an example of a country where a sudden easing of restrictions on labour migration has not led to a boom in demand. Most employers still seem to be reluctant to use international recruitment, despite the relatively simple, inexpensive and rapid process. While wages of natives do not appear to have been affected, there is increasing recruitment for low-skilled jobs for which no local shortage is apparent. The transferability of the Swedish system to other countries may be limited due to the characteristics of co-operation among social partners and the Swedish labour market itself.