Dissertation Abstracts

Youth Unemployment Situation in Sweden

Author: Purvee, Byambadorj , pbyambadorj@yahoo.co.uk
Department: Social Work
University: Gothenburg University , Sweden
Supervisor: Linda Lane
Year of completion: 2009
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: youth unemployment , social exclusion , coping strategy , social network
Areas of Research: Youth , Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy , Work


Youth unemployment is becoming a noticeable global problem today. According to ILO's latest annual report, global unemployment continues to grow; youth now make up half of those out of work. In spite of the growing number of programmes aimed at youth, many young people still face serious problems in integrating successfully into the labour market and youth unemployment remains a major political concern in most OECD countries.

This study is concerned with the problem of youth unemployment as one of the major challenges that labour markets both in developing countries and developed countries face. This study is also motivated by the concern that integrating employment should be brought to the centre of social and economic policy-making. In Sweden, unemployment is a problem for both individuals and society.

This study from 2007, entitled "Youth unemployment in Sweden" shows that unemployed youth experience many types of social exclusions; these include exclusion from the labour market due to lack of job experience or mismatching of job qualifications; economic exclusion due to a lack of basic income that allows them to participate in the same types of activities as other young people with jobs. Exclusion from the labour market means that youth encounter formidable barriers in building their future career, making it difficult to overcome unemployment even in the long run. As a result, young people have access only to poor and insecure jobs; they have mainly engaged in part time work. Consequently, unemployed youth experience economic exclusion, and often become financially dependent on the welfare state or their parents. Moreover, unemployment for youth brings various kinds of psychological pain which may cause decreased self-esteem and self confidence that may have the further consequence of anti-social behaviour, such as excessive drug and alcohol use.

Another finding was that government policies and active labour market programmes that targeted youth can be understood as mechanisms for combating social exclusion and that they are of particular importance because they provide youth with a foothold in the labour market through practice jobs.

Further, the findings showed that youth had several coping strategies to combat social exclusion. Often, they had a high degree of family support, and relied on other networks, such as friends, organisations, social services and employment offices. Most young unemployed people have the capacity to find strategies to cope. They use active coping methods such as planning, seeking information, seeking help from others.

Finally, this study argues that youth unemployment issue requires valuable attention from policy makers, which may draw policy to treat youth unemployment fully and prevent social exclusion.