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.



National descriptions of institutional frameworks

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.


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