The Swedish Model in the Post-Financial Crisis Era
Edited by Christina Garsten, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall
Chapter 2: A policy for the new job market
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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