Work, work, work



“Your next office?” says the sign on the wall in this picture. Let’s hope so, some would say and do what they could to get there. The unempolyment rate though is as high as Turning Torso, the tower behind the sign, and twists here and there in different ways, causing agony for people who lose their jobs and incomes. Others again have difficulties getting in on the labour market, others with getting back in, after having lost a job. There are so many good, competent people out there with many different kinds of skills that the society simply neglect and do not give the chance to prove their worth and take part in the development of the country. Sometimes if you apply for a job you don’t have exactly the right background, but only to 75 or 80%, other times you’re not qualified at all for a specific kind of work or sometimes you’re  “over qualified”. Jobs that seems to be absolutely perfect are blocked for someone, because the employee seems to be “too good”, and in that respect  is percieved as a potential threat for the employer, or at least someone they don’t expect to keep for very long. There are many blockations on the labour market. Still things have to be done. Now, I live in Sweden and write about the Swedish reality and the situation here. All the same, we mustn’t forget that the situation with high unemployment rates and an economy in ruin or on it’s knees is many times even more severe than in my country. The gaps between social groups are here and there much wider and deeper than here in Sweden. Nevertheless, the situation here too is problematic and things have to be done to improve the situation for both the single individual and the society as a whole.

Tomorrow and on Friday there will be a new EPSCO conference in Brussels where labour market, employment issues, social policies, health care etc will be discussed. The Swedish Ministers Hillevi Engström, responsible for the labour market, Nyamko Sabuni, Maria Larsson and Göran Hägglund will participate. On June 21st there was another conference in Luxemburg where they discussed these issues as well. Specific recommendations for the different countries within the EU were put forward for an improved economic growth and situation on the labour market in the respective countries. You find more information on, and

For young adults up to the age of 23 new recommendations have been taken to make it simpler for companies to employ them in a harsh economy. See SOU 2012:80 Utbildningsanställning. The efforts made have good intentions, and can be a temporary life line in troubled global economy. Nevertheless we mustn’t forget that many are left out in the cold all the same. Some companies abuse the situation for slave-like contracts,not paying salary, let people work for free and neglect their life situation. It’s cynical and undignified. See, listen to and aid those who have to look for new positions in life, who doesn’t know the system, can’t speak the language, who are handicapped, have been ill, or just lost their jobs because the company or authority they work for have to save money. People must be able to work if they can. Many who today are unemployed are fully capable and hungry for work. So, what must we do?

  • See the human in front of you if you’re an employer. Try to see behind the surface and see what the person looking for the job might be able to contribute with.
  • Make it easier for small and medium-sized companies to employ new people, to expand and thrive.
  • If you work for an authority or department, try to see the variety of competence in front of you when people look for positions.
  • Take people’s anger, fear, frustration, sadness etc as a way of expressing their agony. It’s only natural.
  • Don’t punish whistle-blowers. They are needed for the development of a society.
  • Take care of competent people. They are needed too.
  • Educate and try to be innovative.
  • If you’re unemployed. Don’t give up, believe in yourself and continue forward.

Anders Moberg, December 5th 2012

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