Table of Contents

  • Globalisation renders certain types of job obsolete, while new ones emerge all the time. This places ever-greater requirements on the ability of labour markets to adapt. Adaptability is crucial for the competitiveness of the Nordic countries as well as the future of welfare in the Region.

  • This report is a result of a 2-year research project on labour market mobility. It is founded on collaboration between four research teams. These are: Professor Per Kongshøj Madsen and PhD student Stine Rasmussen, Centre for Labour Market Research (CARMA), Aalborg University, Denmark; Senior Researcher Simo Aho and PhD student Ilkka Virjo, Work Research Centre (WRC), University of Tampere, Finland; Head of Research Jon Erik Dølvik and researchers Kristine Nergaard and Jørgen Svalund, at Fafo, Norway; Professor Bengt Furåker, Assistant Professor Tomas Berglund (project coordinator) and PhD student Kristina Lovén, Department of Sociology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

  • This report focuses on labour market mobility during the period 2000- 2006 in four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The purpose is to study rates and determinants of mobility and to understand how differences in the institutional settings in the four countries affect mobility outcomes.

  • This report focuses on labour market mobility in four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The purpose is to study rates and determinants of mobility and to understand how differences in the institutional settings in the four countries affect mobility outcomes.

  • One purpose of this study is to estimate probabilities of mobility in the four countries when economic and compositional factors on the labour market are controlled for in statistical analyses. In the review of earlier research on labour market mobility in a Nordic context, many factors with impact on mobility rates were uncovered. These factors should be included as variables in the statistical analyses to control for structural factors that may not directly be a consequence of institutional differences but of, for example, demographic characteristics.

  • This chapter will describe the institutional framework in the four countries from a flexicurity perspective. Especially in the context of the present project, the aim is to establish whether Denmark, as it is often depicted, is really so unique as regards the configuration of its labour market institutions. Is there only a Danish way, or should we consider a more general Nordic model of flexicurity?

  • The aim of this study is to compare mobility patterns and mobility levels in the four countries. A central idea is to study what happens when several factors that have to do with business cycles and labour force composition are ruled out as explanations for possible differences. For this purpose data from the individual countries have been merged together into a single data set.

  • This chapter deals with transitions between three employment statuses- employment, unemployment and inactivity-in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The crucial question is whether patterns differ across the four countries and-if so-whether differences can be explained by reference to the institutional arrangements described previously in this report.

  • The objective of this chapter is to study transitions into and out of temporary employment in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. As in the previous chapter, the most important question in this chapter is also whether patterns of transitions differ across the four countries and whether differences can be explained with reference to the different institutional arrangements.

  • The focus of this chapter is on working hours and part-time work in the Nordic countries. Part-time work can be regarded as atypical in the same way as temporary employment, i.e. a type of employment that differs from the "standard or 'typical' model of full-time, regular, open-ended employment with a single employer over a long time span" (European industrial relations dictionary19). Part-time appointments may increase employer's flexibility, and are thus a factor in the flexicurity discussion. Here part-time tends to be placed in the category "internal numerical flexibility" (Employment in Europe 2006; Wilthagen et al. 2003; European Foundation 2008), as opposed to fixed-term appointments that result in external numerical flexibility. The concept of "working time flexibility" is also used. Employers achieve greater flexibility primarily through working hours (percent of a full position) being geared to the needs of the enterprise. But part-time employment can also offer employers greater flexibility because employees can be asked to work more as needed, and because part-time appointments can be used to meet labour requirements extending beyond normal working hours (evenings, weekends). In the latter case there will often be a close connection between part-time and other types of atypical work (on-call workers, students with extra jobs etc.).

  • In the previous chapters, much of our focus has been on transitions between labour market states - with the exception of changing one's working hours or type of contract. In the present chapter, we move on to study transitions within employment. How common is it for the employed in our countries to have a more or less significant career change?

  • The purpose of the present study has been to investigate patterns of labour market mobility that characterise four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In many studies and discussions of labour markets and welfare states the Nordic countries are regarded as constituting a specific Nordic regime with great internal similarities. However, in the wake of the interest in the Danish flexicurity model, questions have been raised as to whether it is only a Danish phenomenon or whether flexicurity is something that also characterises other Nordic countries. In international comparisons evaluating flexicurity profiles, similarities in the institutional frameworks of the Nordic countries have been found (European Commission 2006; Muffels 2008). Yet when studying the institutional framework in more detail, important differences emerge between the countries that could affect the flexibility and security on the four labour markets.

  • It is generally emphasised that the overall level of employment protection in Denmark is at a low level and comparable to liberal labour markets like that of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, this low level of protection is a long-standing feature of the Danish labour market dating back to the General Agreement between the social partners that was the outcome of a general strike in 1899. This so-called September Agreement defined the right for the employers to manage the workplace (including the right to hire and dismiss workers), while the employers on the other hand recognized the trade unions as legitimate counterparts in negotiations about wages and work conditions. One of the characteristics of the Danish labour market, which is in contrast to for instance the situation in Sweden,is that this low level of employment protection has been intact until present times.