Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Sweden 2011

image of 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.


Bedömning och rekommendationer

I slutet av 2008 genomförde Sverige en genomgripande reform av regelverket kring arbetskraftsinvandring. Den främsta drivkraften bakom reformen var oro över en åldrande befolkning och brist på arbetskraft. Sverige står inför en situation där babyboom-generationen är på väg att bli pensionärer och där ungdomsgrupperna under de närmaste decennierna kommer att bli mindre än pensionärsgrupperna. En ökad oro över framtida brist på arbetskraft har under det senaste decenniet lett till livliga diskussioner om rekrytering från utlandet, vilket kulminerade i 2008 års reform.


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