Skip to main content

The emergence of low-wage jobs in the Swedish labor market - A systematic review of the competing researchperspectives.

Research project
Active research
Project size
590 000
Project period
2020 - 2022
Project owner
Department of Sociology and Work Science

Short description

The aim of the project is to make a research review with a broader understanding of the phenomenon of low-wage work in Sweden and to capture the differences in theory, central concepts, method, and considerations ofthe Swedish labour market context prevailing in the current research. The project fills a knowledge gap bycontrasting the different perspectives, understandings and results that exist regarding the issue and identifying the needs for future research and targeted initiatives. Low-paid jobs is a highly debated area. Some believe that it is polarized by both low and well-paid jobs growingin number, others that Sweden is characterized by a reduction in low-paid/qualified jobs and the growth of thehigh-paid/qualified jobs - a so-called upgrading of the professional structure.

A third group sees signs that polarization is on the rise but not yet fully established in the labor market. Yet another perspective emphasizes that the analysis should be based on income, taking into account involuntary part-time and periods of unemployment, rather than salary. Additionally, the perspectives vary to the degree that they consider gender, geography and policies, etc. contribute to explaining the phenomenon. Systematically and comprehensively compiled research from various disciplines (such as economics, sociology,and political science), with a broader understanding of the concept of low-wage work, and how the differences in theoretical definitions and methodology provide affect the conclusions, will fill a research gap.

Research Questions:

Based on a systematic research overview, what conclusions can be drawn regarding:
1. The theoretical starting points?
2. The methodological starting points?
3. The conditions of the Swedish context?
4. The empirical results?
5. The state of research and the need for future research and targeted efforts?

The project is carried out as a systematic research overview, with a particular focus on highlighting thedifferences that exist in different approaches.