Finland, Norway, Sweden: Study looks at ‘locked-in’ workers

The issue of ‘locked-in’ workers – those who find it difficult to find another job with a new employer – has been examined in a study.

Patterns among employees in the Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish labour markets were examined.

Workers are defined as locked-in if they have considerable difficulty in finding an equally good job as the current one with other employer. Empirically, the concept is measured by means of the employees’ own assessment of their labour market prospects.

The proportion of those locked-in is lower in Norway – with its higher demand for labour and lower levels of unemployment – than in Finland and Sweden.

The analysis finds that young age and good health are associated with relatively optimistic views of job prospects, probably because these attributes impact on the ability to adapt to the demand for labour and because employers tend to be cautious about hiring older workers and those with health problems.

The most significant obstacles to finding another job reported by the respondents are the labour market conditions in their place of residence or within commuting distance, and their age.

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