torsdag 30 januari 2014

Nytt working paper: Labour migration in a Time of Crisis: Results of the New Demand-Driven Labour Migration System in Sweden

Pappret analyserar arbetskraftsinvandringen till Sverige efter 2008 års reform och baseras på Migrationsverkets statistik över arbetstillstånd, intervjuer med experter och litteraturstudier.


In the midst of the ongoing financial crisis in 2008, the Swedish government decided to liberalize the labour migration policy from third countries. After several decades of having a restrictive system, the country now has one of the most open labour migration systems in the world. In this paper I review the outcome of the policy and offer some tentative explanations about why we have seen this specific outcome in the Swedish case. The result is an increase of labour migration, but it is to a large part due to immigration to sectors with a surplus of workers. The labour migrants can roughly be divided into three major categories: those moving to skilled jobs, low skilled jobs and seasonal workers in the berry picking industry. The demand driven system has produced a specific labour migration pattern which is better explained by employer’s access to transnational networks than actual demand for labour. Many sectors with a large surplus of native workers have experienced major inflows while employers in other sectors with labour shortages don´t recruit from third countries. The policy outcome also highlights the need to analyse and explain different categories of labour migration separately as they are a result of different driving forces.

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