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Desirable skills?: Non-Nordic citizens applying for work permits in Sweden, 1947–1950
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7559-2571
2015 (English)In: Labor history, ISSN 0023-656X, E-ISSN 1469-9702, Vol. 56, no 4, 481-498 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Sweden's rapid economic growth after the Second World War meant that the native labour supply was incapable of meeting the high demand, especially for industrial labourers. Three agreements on organised collective transfers were signed, but a large majority of the labour migrants came on their own initiative. Not all applicants were equally welcomed. In this article, logistic regressions are used to investigate a sample of 2830 (every fifth) applications to the National Labour Market Board (AMS) from the years 1947–1950; 1367 had an arrangement with a future Swedish employer, while 1463 applicants lacked such an arrangement. The likelihood of being granted a permit was 11 times higher for the first category. Our hypothesis that the chances were better for high-skilled workers proved true only in part; it was valid if they had an employer agreement. Contrary to our assumptions, women had a better chance than men, partly because domestic servants were always permitted and partly because women did not compete with male labour. However, our assumptions with regard to better chances for the young but experienced, and for those applying for the occupation wherein they had their experience held true. A number of official documents revealed the desirability of Sudeten German labourers. They were viewed as skilled, reliable and loyal by employers, labour unions and governmental authorities. This assumption only held true for applicants lacking an employer. This can be viewed as a prolongation of the practice of helping Sudeten German Social Democrats, established in 1938. The intention to help refugees was, however, also evident in the treatment of Baltic and Polish applicants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015. Vol. 56, no 4, 481-498 p.
Keyword [en]
migrant workers, labour demand, technological change, diverging chances, gender differences, Sweden, post-war era
National Category
History Economics and Business Work Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113708DOI: 10.1080/0023656X.2016.1086556ISI: 000367002300005OAI: diva2:889418
Available from: 2015-12-24 Created: 2015-12-24 Last updated: 2016-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Grönberg, Per-OlofSandström, Glenn
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