Ageing and Employment Policies/Vieillissement et politiques de l'emploi: Sweden 2003

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With rapidly aging populations, old-age pension reform and early-retirement schemes alone may not suffice to provide adequate employment opportunities. Additional measures will clearly be needed on wage scales, job discrimination, skills acquisition, and working conditions. Attitudes will also have to change about working later in life. Little is known, however, about what countries have been or should be doing on those issues. This report on Sweden begins a series of around 20 OECD country reports intended to fill the gap. Each contains a survey of the main employment barriers confronting older people, an assessment of existing remedial measures, and policy recommendations for further action.



Executive Summary and Recommendations

Sweden has one of the oldest populations of all OECD member countries. The number of older people is rising rapidly and, by 2030, almost one in four Swedes will be over the age of 65. There is a risk that this will generate large upward pressures on public expenditures, while at the same time provoking acute labour shortages and slower economic growth. There is no simple solution to reduce these risks, but one thing is clear: to maintain an adequate level of social protection without increasing taxes, the employment rate of older workers (i.e. individuals aged 50 and over) will have to increase. This means that the long-term trend to early retirement will have to be reversed...


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