Sweden: Reports focus on disabled people in the labour market

Labour market programmes to help disabled people into work have had a largely positive effect, according to a study by the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU).

IFAU has published several working papers on the subject of employment for people with disabilities in Sweden. 

The paper on the effects of targeted labour market initiatives for job seekers with occupational disabilities looked at three different schemes.

The authors estimated the average effect of wage subsidies, sheltered public employment, and employment at a Swedish state-owned company whose aim is to provide employment for persons with disabilities.

All three initiatives were seen as effective, though there was also a considerable ‘locking-in’ effect. Once involved in a labour market scheme, it was difficult for the worker to find any other type of work.

A separate paper looked at differential earnings and income effects on workers with disabilities who lose their jobs. The main findings were that earnings of those with and without disabilities began to diverge several years prior to the job loss because of a much larger incidence of longer periods of absence due to either sickness or rehabilitation’.

Factors associated with occupational disability classification were examined in a third paper. To participate in labour market interventions targeting persons with disabilities, certain classifications are commonly needed from the Public Employment Service. This paper investigates the determinants behind these classifications and found that ‘men were more likely to be classified as disabled and also that higher age and various measures of socio-economic disadvantages were associated with a higher likelihood’. There also seemed to be a tendency, over the time period of the study, that the likelihood of being classified as disabled increases over time.

IFAU also released its annual overview of Swedish labour market policies for 2013 (in Swedish), giving an overview of labour market policies.

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