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No one "miracle reform" can create enough jobs

6 December 2018

Together with the publisher Dialogos, IFN arranged a seminar about the book “How can more enter the labor market? (Hur ska fler komma in på arbetsmarknaden?). Professor Lars Calmfors, who is one of the authors of the book, was interviewed by the journalist Cecilia Garme. The interview revolved mainly around problems of integrating foreign-born individuals in the Swedish labor market. “Employment rates are lower for foreign-born individuals”, said Calmfors. He explained that there is a need for more simple jobs with lower wages.

(From left to right) moderator Cecilia Garme, Peter Jeppson, Jessica Polfjärd, Tobias Baudin, Irene Wennemo, Pernilla Andersson Joon and Lars Calmfors. Photo: Bosse Johansson.

Following the opening dialogue with Lars Calmfors, Cecilia Garme moderated a discussion between Peter Jeppson, Deputy Director General of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and Tobias Baudin, President of the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union. Thereafter, Cecilia Garme moderated a discussion between Jessica Polfjärd, labor market spokesperson (M) as well as member of the Swedish Parliament’s Committee on the Labour Market, and Irene Wennemo (S) State Secretary to the Minister for Employment and Integration. The word was then given to Pernilla Andersson Joona, Associate Professor of Economics at Stockholm University, who gave her perspective on the research presented in the book. The seminar concluded with a Q&A between audience members and the panelists.



The seminar commenced with Cecilia Garme interviewing Lars Calmfors, IFN, about the book. Photo: Bosse Johansson.

The graphs shown during the interview. 

Peter Jeppson, Deputy Director General of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and Tobias Baudin, President of the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union, discussed ”simple jobs”, among other things. Jeppson explained that employers want as few complications as possible in order facilitate different types of state-financed jobs. “Etableringsjobb is the type of state-supported jobs that has the greatest potential to succeed. Few complexities, little uncertainty and little risk”. Photo: Bosse Johansson.

Jessica Polfjärd and Irene Wennemo discussed wage-setting, among other things. “We gladly leave wage-setting to unions and employer-organisations. I think that starting salaries should be set by [them],”  said Polfjärd. Photo: Bosse Johansson.

Pernilla Andersson Joona, Stockholm University, commented on the research presented in the book. She said, among other things, that it is important for newly arrived immigrants to be introduced to the Swedish labor market as soon as possible to quickly enter the labor force. Photo: Bosse Johansson.

Translation from Swedish: Marcos Demetry