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Economic Renewal and Demographic Change

An evaluation of local labour market performance in the Nordic countries. Nordregio Report 2004:8

Regional imbalances caused by and effecting demographic change are unevenly spread across the Nordic countries. A common emergent problem here is that of a future labour shortage, something which has already been experienced in certain sectors and in particular regions, and something that is forecast on a much broader scale in future. Moreover, the common characteristics of an ageing labour force, such as increasing rates of sickness leave, have important side effects, from a social and economic perspective, on the communities they blight. The differences in fertility rates between in particular Sweden, Finland and Denmark on the one hand, and Iceland and Norway on the other are complexly interrelated to differing economic performance levels and to national institutional structures. The sustainability, in economic and social terms, of several labour markets is thus increasingly challenged as population decline continues.