Live Currency Rates
 
  Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Youth unemployment stirs debate on Swedish model  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 18/11/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


(MENAFN - AFP) When Adam Lundborg, a 25 year-old business graduate, began handing out flyers on a busy shopping street in central Stockholm this summer, he was selling a product he knew better than most: himself.

The leaflets featured a short presentation of Lundborg and the type of jobs he was looking for: "any challenges you throw my way."

"I graduated from university with top grades, but when I entered the job market it was like hitting a brick wall," he said.

On his second day of job hunting, Lundborg was offered a job by a company that had read about his plight in a newspaper. But the opening, described in the media as a "dream job", turned out to be a commission-based telemarketing position.

He ended up resigning, choosing instead to spend his time calling chief executives at companies he'd like to work for, hoping to get a chance to introduce himself.

Lundborg is victim of Sweden's persistently high youth unemployment, a hot-button issue in a country that prides itself on egalitarian policies, and that has weathered the financial crisis better than most.

Although Sweden's export-driven economy is beginning to feel the effects of Europe's economic woes, it has posted strong growth since making a quick recovery from the 2008 recession. It also has a low level of government debt.

But youth unemployment has remained above the European average, reaching a seasonally adjusted 23.0 percent in October, compared to 7.7 percent for the population as a whole, according to Statistics Sweden.

Last year, Swedes aged 15 to 24 were more than four times more likely to be without work than the rest of the workforce, the highest ratio in Europe according to Eurostat.

Even during the boom years before the crisis, Sweden's youth unemployment hovered around 25 percent.

Last month one town, Soederhamn, went so far as to subsidise people between 18 and 28 to go look for work in Norway.

Swedish employers place the blame squarely on the employment protection laws and high entry level wages championed by the country's powerful unions.

"The barriers to entry to the job market are especially high in Sweden, leaving many young people on the sidelines," said Malin Sahlen, an economist at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, who on Tuesday released a book on the subject.

In her book, Sahlen argues that the high cost of firing workers means employers are reluctant to hire people with little, or little known, experience, making it tougher for young people and immigrants to gain a foothold in the job market.

They also bear the brunt of any job cuts in a downturn due to strictly enforced "last in, first out" selection criteria during redundancies.

Moreover, the high level of pay for entry level jobs -- in Sweden set by collective bargaining, as opposed to a statutory minimum wage -- give companies little incentive to choose young people over more experienced candidates.

It also encourages them to eliminate entry-level positions in order to cut costs, she said.

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO), a close ally of the Social Democratic party, which dominated political life in Sweden for much of the past century, painted a very different picture, saying that the extent of the problem has been exaggerated.

"Many of those between 15 and 19 who are registered as unemployed are full-time students looking for part-time work, and that group of people really isn't a problem," said Oscar Ernerot, an ombudsman at LO.

"Sweden has a higher number of full-time students looking for part-time work," he added when asked about comparisons with countries that have a lower rate of youth unemployment.

Out of those between 20 and 24 years old, the main problem was a growing number of people who have failed to complete their secondary education, and for whom there is little demand in the labour market, Ernerot added, referring to a dwindling number of unskilled labour jobs.

The centre-right government should invest more in education and projects that would create jobs for those people, he argued.

Stripping out full-time students and those who have been unemployed for less than a month, Sweden's youth unemployment would fall to around seven or eight percent, the LO ombudsman said.

However, Sahlen maintained that the statistics were accurate.

"It seems odd that Sweden should have more full-time students looking for part-time work than other countries do, given that they all measure unemployment in the same way," she said.

While there is little political appetite to relax Sweden's labour laws, LO has signalled that it may back a government proposal on youth apprenticeships, under which young people would be paid less than is currently mandated by the unions.

"It's not a lower salary, you get the same hourly wage," chairman Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson on Sunday told public broadcaster SVT, referring to a clause that says the apprentice has to spend 25 percent of the time studying.

But he added: "Something isn't working. When young people leave school they are not getting the jobs they have been trained for."

Meanwhile, Lundborg, the 25 year-old graduate, continues to look for work.

"Many of the companies I speak to sound positive towards me as a person, but say they don't need any more staff," he said.


 






  MENA News Headlines
Apr 23 2014Omantel launches service package for youth ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Omantel announced launching 'Ozone' plan, a new package designed especially for the youth. This comes with the company"s constant efforts to enhance the communication needs of its customers, ...

Apr 23 2014Dh154 billion for Arabtec projects ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Arabtec will spend dh140 billion on building one million low-cost houses in egypt and dh14 billion on five mixed-use residential projects in abu dhabi and dubai its chief ...

Apr 23 2014?Titli? makers excited about Cannes selection ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The movie about the badlands of delhi?s dystopic underbelly will be in competition as part of the un certain regard section of the 67th cannes film gala to be held may ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Yaroub Bashraheel: In search of peace ... underwater ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) You've heard of diving snorkeling and other water activities but rarely has anyone heard of free-diving. it's a form of diving underwater without the aid of any breathing ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Schneider highlights intelligent health care solutions at forum ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Schneider electric a global specialist in energy management is set to showcase its leadership in intelligent health care solutions at the second saudi forum for planning and ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Divorcees can seek housing ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The kingdom will accept applications from saudi divorced women and widows for financial and housing support said justice minister muhammad al-issa.al-issa called on applicants ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi Savola Group revenue up 43 pct in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia's Savola Group registered a 43 percent increase in profits in the first quarter, well over expectations of analysts, Arabian Business reported. According to a statement to ...

Apr 23 2014Tamouh steps up activity on projects ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi-based real-estate developer tamouh has scaled up construction activity on all of its announced reem island projects to meet the rising demand for prime spaces in ...

Apr 23 2014Here?s your chance to share screen space with SRK ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Groupon india has joined hands with srk?s red chillies entertainment to give fans a chance to feature with the superstar in his upcoming film ?happy new year?. if you ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Noha Al-Sharif — an expert in Islamic sculpture ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi sculptress noha al-sharif is known for her islamic inspired sculptures that reflect both religion and lifestyle. the concept of modern art attracted her to this medium ...

Apr 23 2014Dewa and GE explore collaboration opportunities ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Saeed mohammed al tayer managing director and chief executive officer of the dubai electricity and water authority (dewa) recently received a ge delegation to explore ...

Apr 23 2014Local international companies come out in force ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Cityscape abu dhabi has started showing stronger interest from property developers who have showcased their upcoming projects. the three-day realty show was opened by ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- ASUS showcases product series at Aramco Week ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Asus described as the world's renowned consumer notebook vendor and producer of the 'world's best-selling motherboards" recently participated in aramco week and showcased a ...

Apr 23 2014Sale of Gate Towers penthouses launched ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Aldar properties has launched the sale of 21 exclusive duplex penthouse apartments at gate towers the penthouse collection in shams abu dhabi on al reem island. one of ...

Apr 23 2014ADCB profit grows 26% in first quarter ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi commercial bank?s profit grew 26 per cent in the first quarter of the year to dh1. however net profit rose 22 per cent year-on-year. non-interest income was 24 ...

Apr 23 2014'Piles and piles' of bodies in S. Sudan ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Nairobi: gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left 'piles and piles" of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in south sudan the un's top ...

Apr 23 2014UAE- Billion-dollar realty projects on show ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Cityscape abu dhabi a three-day realty event that began with 120 regional and international exhibitors witnessed major announcements on tuesday.salama bint hamdan al-nahyan ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Ministry launches complaint center for domestic workers ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The labor ministry has launched a first-of-its-kind multilingual communication center to address complaints and grievances voiced by the kingdom's 1.2 million domestic ...

Apr 23 2014Qatar's MPHC net profit hits USD127m in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company (MPHC) announced that a net profit increase in the January-March period of this year, The Peninsula Qatar reported. The company, a leading ...

Apr 23 2014Kowait- Rationalization of water use in focus ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait city april 7 (kuna): under the patronage of minister of electricity and water abdulaziz al-ibrahim kuwait environment protection society (keps) organized monday a ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help