Makeshift Work in a Changing Labour Market

Makeshift Work in a Changing Labour Market

The Swedish Model in the Post-Financial Crisis Era

Edited by Christina Garsten, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, people who had never before had cause to worry about losing their jobs entered the ranks of the unemployed for the first time. In Sweden, the welfare state has been radically challenged and mass unemployment has become a reality in what used to be viewed as a model case for a full employment society. With an emphasis on Sweden in the context of transnational regulatory change, Makeshift Work in a Changing Labour Market discusses how the market mediates employment and moves on to explore the ways in which employees adjust to a new labour market. Focusing on the legibility, measurability and responsibility of jobseekers, the expert contributors of this book bring together an analysis of activation policy and new ways of organizing the mediation of work, with implications for the individual jobseeker.

Chapter 1: Introduction: makeshift work in a global labour market

Christina Garsten, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisation studies, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory

Extract

In the contemporary world, labour markets and the everyday lives of work are being radically transformed. The guiding ideals for how labour markets should be organized are strongly influenced by fluctuations in the economy and by the direction of ideological winds. In this way, the labour market represents a good indicator for broader changes occurring in society. In 2007, the collapse of the financial market in the US had repercussions all over the world. Many countries fell into recession, the effects of which were dire and immediate, both in the financial world and in the manufacturing industry. Entire regions across the world were soon faced with the threat of mass unemployment. People who had never before had cause to worry about what it might mean to lose their jobs entered the ranks of the unemployed for the first time. For some, redundancy notices came quickly and seemingly without warning; for others, they were more expected. The crisis hit some parts of society hard, resulting in unemployment levels we had not seen since the beginning of the 1990s. A large part of the world is now getting used to unemployment numbers that were recently seen to be unacceptable. After this economic slump, the labour market has become a tougher, more competitive place than it has been for many years. Already with the crisis of the 1990s the labour markets of the Western world underwent significant changes and a different labour market emerged.