We like change – A Progressive Agenda for Future Jobs

International issues Something new is taking place in labour markets around the world. At least since the end of the 1990s, both low-skill and high-skill jobs are increasing, while middle-skill jobs are decreasing. This is called job polarisation and means that we are moving towards an hourglass-shaped labour market.

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Digitalisation and globalisation

This new structural change differs from previous ones, where the jobs that were created were more qualified and paid more than the jobs that disappeared. The driving forces behind this are mainly digitalisation and globalisation. Rapid technological development and an increasingly open world economy offer major opportunities to countries around the world, but also significant challenges.

Structural change

In this paper we describe how Swedish trade unions have taken constructive actions during previous structural transformations, contributing to Sweden’s internationally competitive economy with high growth, a high employment rate and small income gaps. Consequently, looking forward we have strong reasons to believe that the Swedish model with influential trade unions has not only been historically successful, but is also well-suited to meet future challenges without eliminating people from the labour market or increasing social disparities.

Trade unions welcome change, but it must be met with measures that help people to adjust and keep up with structural change. 

The report We like change – A Progressive Agenda for Future Jobs (pdf)