The concept of the 'working poor' has become increasing applicable to social and labour market realities in the EU, due to the rise in atypical and precarious work patterns and a growing polarisation in the labour market between low or unskilled work and highskilled work. Based primarily on a comprehensive literature review, this report covers issues such as definitions of the working poor, the incidence and characteristics of the working poor and related subgroups, as well as examining the various policy responses aimed at alleviating or combating working poverty.
Recent research from Sweden shows that there is extensive ethnic
discrimination in the labour market. In Sweden today, approximately 11.5% of
the total population were born abroad. The largest groups of migrants are
Finnish and other Scandinavian nationalities, followed by residents of former
Yugoslavia, and Bosnian, Iraqi, Iranian, Polish, Turkish, Chilean and
Lebanese people. Migrants, particularly non-European migrants, have higher
unemployment rates and lower wages (see Table).
According to the report Ohälsans trappa (368Kb pdf; in Swedish) 
(‘Steps of illness’), work-related health problems and illnesses are
still rising among Swedish employees, and increasingly reflect differences in
occupational level, background and gender.