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Labour Market Mobility in Nordic Welfare States

image of Labour Market Mobility in Nordic Welfare States

The 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 how differences in the institutional settings in the four countries affect mobility outcomes. Especially, the institutional mix that is contained in the concept "flexicurity" has been in focus. Mobility types studied are: Transitions between labour market statuses. Transitions into and out of atypical employment. Workplace mobility, occupational mobility and mobility between industries. Data used are the Labour Force Surveys (LFS). Their panel structure has been utilized to measure changes in labour market situation after one year. The main conclusion is that the Danish flexicurity nexus leads to high mobility rates on the labour market. However, the study reveals high levels also in Norway. In general, Finland and Sweden shows lower mobility rates than the two other countries.

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Mobility in and out of part-time work

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.).

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