Two atypical forms of employment; temporary agency work and self-employment. What are the implications for non-Western immigrants?

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2007
End date: 31/12/2009
Funding: 2550000 SEK


An increasing number of employed people in Sweden have some form of atypical employment. Temporary contracts, on-leave replacements, and working in short term projects are some of the atypical employment forms an employee can have within a firm. Having temporary agency work and being self-employed are two other occupational forms that diverge from the traditional form of employment; i.e. being a wage-earner with an open-ended contract. Those who are most likely to have these two forms of atypical employment are young people and immigrants from non-western countries. This pattern has been more or less became a stylised fact about the Swedish labour market. A question in focus in the studies of temporary agency work is that such work can be a stepping-stone for immigrants into the regular labour market. Earlier studies show that immigrants from Asia, Africa and South America are more likely than natives to enter into temporary agency work from unemployment and more likely to leave the industry for employment with a firm in another industry. In the international literature, the “stepping-stone” hypothesis has been analyzed. In these studies there has not been any special focus on immigrants. Research on self-employment among immigrants has not so much focused on self-employment as a transitional occupation but instead one has often asked about the reasons for why immigrants and ethnic minorities are overrepresented among the self-employed.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:53