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What is “real” work?

| By Björn Lindahl, Editor-in-Chief

Our need to be seen and appreciated is often as important or more important to us than pay. But what happens when the boss is an algorithm? Our theme this time is artificial intelligence, AI, and the Nordic labour market. That is quite a lot to chew on, so we only have space to take a few bites.

To contrast the current changes, we have visited the former manufacturing town of Fiskars, 90 kilometres from Helsinki. Fiskars used to make famous tools here, but the production has since been moved elsewhere and abroad. 

In its place, jewellers, bakers, artists and authors have now gathered in an “urban town”. 

The area welcomes 200 000 tourists a year. There are 600 permanent citizens and 50 companies employing 200 people all year. One thing struck me about how the old factory workers reacted as I read the text: 

“Two different worlds collided. They mostly disagreed on what constituted work. They could not quite understand that culture and tourism was real work.” 

While AI takes over many tasks that humans perform today, will we see a similar reevaluation of what constitutes real work?   

At various stages of life, it can be particularly important to either get a job or to get time off from work – in order to take care of a newborn child for instance. 

We write about what is needed to get vulnerable young people included in working life. A new Nordic report looks at what actually works. 

We also continue our series on the many types of parental leave, this time in Finland and Iceland.  

Finally, we also take a look at how the Swedish election might affect Sweden’s labour market after Ulf Kristersson and his Moderates were asked to form a centre-right government. We also investigate the claim that often emerges towards the end of a Swedish election campaign: Do the overseas votes really sway the election?


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