Makeshift Work in a Changing Labour Market
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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.
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Chapter 2: A policy for the new job market

Jessica Lindvert


The conditions for people in today’s new job market are different from those of yesteryear. In descriptions of the new market, one commonly hears expressions like individualization, marketization, or that people must increase their own employability – expressions that all stress a process of change from one situation to another. The thought behind this chapter is to provide an overview of how public sector activities in the area of labour market are organized, which ideas have dominated, and which actors have been influential during the past 50 years. I begin by discussing the characteristic features of active labour market policy from historical and international standpoints. A second section addresses the Public Employment Service specifically, focusing on how it is organized and how its assignments are formulated. I then conclude with a discussion of how the power over labour market policies has changed in that employers and unions have lost influence and auditing bodies have become the new holders of power (see also Lindvert 2006). An active labour market policy aims to stimulate people to be mobile, through matching or labour market training. It differs from passive labour market policy, which is purely monetary support paid to the individual, such as unemployment insurance benefits and social assistance.

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