The Swedish Model in the Post-Financial Crisis Era
Edited by Christina Garsten, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall
Chapter 1: Introduction: makeshift work in a global labour market
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.