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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Impact of the Swedish policy reform You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Pages :
73–102
DOI :
10.1787/9789264167216-9-en

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Overall, Sweden’s new labour migration regime has not led to a boom in labour migration, although the number of new non-seasonal labour migrants to Sweden increased in 2009, and rose further in 2010 and 2011. The reform allowed recruitment for lesser-skilled jobs in occupations and sectors in which labour migrants had not previously come, especially restaurants and hospitality and cleaning. The average permit duration is now longer, and the stay rate is higher, although seasonal work remains significant...