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Mobility of labour from new EU states to the Nordic Region

Development trends and consequences

image of Mobility of labour from new EU states to the Nordic Region

This report sums up the developments in labour migration from the member countries to the Nordic Region since EU enlargement in 2004, the consequences for the labour markets in both the Nordic Region and in the countries of origin, the main features of the political initiatives and adaptation strategies adopted by the Nordic countries, and the most important challenges that the Nordic countries will face in this area in the future. The report points out that Western Europe and the Nordic Region have experienced significant and increasing mobility of labour from the new member countries since 1 May 2004. It concludes that greater mobility, particularly from Poland and the Baltic countries, has been a contributory factor to higher growth and lower inflation in the Nordic countries than would otherwise have been possible in a period of prolonged economic prosperity and increasing labour shortages. It also states that the challenges in the Nordic countries have primarily been associated with the growth in in-service mobility and postings away from home. In addition, the report confirms quite significant emigration of workers from Poland and the Baltic countries since 2004, which has led to shortages of labour in those countries. It concludes that even though employment levels have risen significantly, especially in the Baltic countries, the main challenge for these countries will continue to be how to further increase domestic employment levels. This report constitutes the final product of the expert group on EU expansion set up by EK-A in 2004, the mandate for which expired on 1 December 2007.

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Minimum wage rates and average wage levels in selected industries in the Nordic countries

In the following you will find an overview of wage levels in selected industries in the Nordic countries. We have selected industries in which the volume of labour and service immigration from the EU-8+2 is assumed to be most prominent, i.e. metalworking, the food industry, construction, electrical installation, hotels/catering and agriculture. The overview comprises the minimum rates defined by collective agreements or the minimum agreed rates in the industries specified. To the extent that the collective agreements distinguish between skilled and unskilled labour, both categories are included. In addition, we have collected information on the average wage levels within the same industries. While the minimum agreed rates provide an indication of the lowest payable wages in the individual countries, the average wage level provides an impression of the wages that are payable in order to remain competitive in terms of wages.

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