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Precarious Footing: Temporary Employment as a Stepping Stone out of Unemployment in Sweden

Tomas Korpi and Henrik Levin
Work, Employment & Society
Vol. 15, No. 1, Labour Markets and Employment Issues (March 2001), pp. 127-148
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23747788
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Precarious Footing: Temporary Employment as a Stepping Stone out of Unemployment in Sweden
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Abstract

In the intense debate around questions related to labour market flexibility one of the contested issues has been the relationship between temporary work and unemployment. Temporary work has here been regarded either as a precursor to recurrent unemployment, or as an entry port to stable employment. Little is however known about actual mobility patterns, including whether or not temporary employment can act as a stepping stone out of unemployment. Using a sample of initially unemployed, this is here examined through an analysis of the relationship between temporary employment during a one-year observation period and employment and unemployment during a subsequent twelve-month long follow-up period. The results evince the great overall vulnerability of the unemployed, but also that the permanent and temporary jobs obtained by unemployed differ relatively little in the employment security they offer. This suggests that the type of employment contract is of minor importance for the long-term employment prospects of the unemployed. This holds for women as well as for men, contradicting some earlier conjectures about gender specific mobility patterns.

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