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Culture / News

Is Norway no Longer the Promised Land for Young Swedes?

Young Swedes had a tradition of flocking to Norway to find work. For example, getting a job in Norwegian cafes and restaurants was previously a popular option for young Swedes. But this appears to be coming to an end. This trend has slowed by an estimated 60 percent decrease in recent years suggesting the slowing of the oil boom has stemmed mass movement west from Sweden in search of employment. Is Norway no longer the promised land for young Swedes?

Crossing the border

It was common for young Swedes to travel across the border to work in areas like the service industry and retail when the Norwegian economy was at its peak. The lure of higher salaries on offer compared to back home and a favourable exchange rate were quite attractive.

Nowadays, there is less Swedish being spoken on the streets of Oslo. The two countries also do not have such a large difference in salaries anymore. Jobs now are also easier to come by in Sweden so these points combined are thought to be the explanation for the shift.

This shift became noticeable around 2014-15. Recruitment companies like Kelly Services (Oslo) noticed a decrease around 55-60 percent when it comes to Swedish workers compared to how it was during its heyday.

Norwegian employers having trouble finding staff

In previous years there were busloads of young Swedes coming to look for jobs but now Norwegian employers are having a hard time finding staff.

Employers in Norway are now looking to Eastern Europe and countries like Russia, Lithuania, Poland and Hungary. These nations are becoming popular to recruit staff from in an effort to try to fill the gap left by the now departed Swedes.

The reverse?

The Swedish-Norwegian exchange could be on the cards also as Swedish unemployment continues to decline and young Norwegians look for work. In 2017, Norwegians searched for employment in Sweden, particularly in the construction sector, teaching and computer engineering.

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