Norwegian version

Under Pressure? Migration and Labor Market Integration in Norway (UPMIN)

The overarching research question in the UPMIN project is: What institutional and contextual factors enhance immigrants’ and refugees’ employment participation?

Immigrants in general, and refugees in particular, have difficulties in gaining access to the Norwegian labour market. This is a cause for concern, for several reasons. Employment is beneficial for the individual because it provides better income, feeling of self-worth, and improves social integration. A high employment level is moreover essential for securing funding of the welfare state in the future. 

UPMIN will examine two institutional settings in detail, namely the strength of employment protection and the prevalence of temporary work contracts.

It has been argued that weak employment protection could increase employment chances for immigrants and refugees; employers will think that hiring a new employee will have few risks since it is easy to fire an individual who turns out to be unproductive. In a similar vein, the use of temporary work contracts could be beneficial for immigrants and refugees because a temporary position could act as a steppingstone into a more permanent and firm attachment to the labour market.

UPMIN will examine these hypotheses through cross-national comparisons of Norway, Sweden and Denmark: Compared to Norway, Denmark has weaker employment protection, while Sweden has more temporary work contracts.

UPMIN will also investigate the role of three contextual factors, by examining how regional differences in these factors within Norway are related to work participation levels among immigrants.

These factors are, first, local labour market conditions (for instance, the demand for labour and the presence of ‘entry-level’ jobs); second, the settlement policy for immigrants and refugees in recent years; and, third, the role played by Adult Education Centres as to labour market opportunities for immigrants and refugees.

The overall objectives of the project aim to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals within decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, and sustainable cities and communities.