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Labour Markets, Gender and Institutional Change

Essays in Honour of Günther Schmid

Edited by Hugh Mosley and Jacqueline O’Reilly

The original essays in this book have been written by a number of leading international experts in the field of labour market studies to honour the intellectual contribution and lifetime achievement of Günther Schmid.
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Chapter 4: The changing public–private mix of labour market policy in Sweden

Eskil Wadensjö


4. The changing public–private mix of labour market policy in Sweden Eskil Wadensjö The Swedish labour market was gradually centralized in the first eight decades of the twentieth century. Two important steps in this process were the establishment of the National Labour Market Board (AMS) in 1948 and the nationalization of sheltered workshops in 1980. In the 1990s this trend was reversed, and the role of the AMS has now become less important. For example, labour market training is now outside the ambit of the labour market administration and, to an increasing extent, the AMS has to purchase places in training programmes for unemployed individuals from private companies. Even work rehabilitation is increasingly bought in from outside operators. The AMS has also lost its monopoly status as the only form of labour exchange permitted. In 1992 and 1993 private employment agencies and temporary employment agencies were legalized (they had been banned since 1935). PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES: THE CORNERSTONE OF ACTIVE LABOUR MARKET POLICY Sweden is well known for its active labour market policy, both its extent and the fact that it is an integral and important part of the Swedish model. The history of active labour market policy in Sweden is long and can be traced back at least to the early twentieth century, that is 100 years ago. The employment offices play the leading role in this history. The fact that the state monopoly has been abolished is therefore an important development. In this section the development...

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