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Editorial: Klondike and thousands of new Nordic jobs?

| Text: Berit Kvam

How will that show in labour market statistics? Statistics Sweden, SCB, celebrates its anniversary. They have delivered labour market statistics and figures for the past 50 years. A mining boom and measures to get more jobs for more people can provide exciting figures in the years to come.

Denmark has got its first female-led government, with Helle Thorning-Schmidt as new Prime Minister. The new government comprises the Social Democrats, the Social-Liberal Party and the Socialist People’s Party (SF), and promises more people will work more, increased productivity and a freeze in salaries. These are central elements to the Danish centre-left government’s labour market policies, writes our Copenhagen correspondent. The government’s aim is to get 135,000 more people in jobs by 2020.

Work is important too for people with impaired work ability. So it is worth taking note when the Norwegian government commits new millions for new measures to get more young people with impaired work ability into jobs. That happened when the Minister for Labour Hanne Bjurstrøm presented ‘Job strategy for people with impaired work ability’. But there are inherit dangers when the minister refuses to stipulate goals or measures of success.

Greenland’s labour market is red hot. Nordic Labour Journal has just been there with Sweden’s Minister for Nordic Cooperation Ewa Björling to see how the mining industry is really finding its legs. But there is enthusiasm elsewhere too. Many signs indicate we are facing a ‘Nordic mining industry boom’ as we write in this issue’s Theme. When foreign ministers met in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council on 12 October the venue was KLAB’s mine in Kiruna. Norway’s and Sweden’s foreign ministers traveled there on the ore railway from Narvik to Kiruna. ”Countries with far smaller resources build railways through the African jungle,” says Damian Hicks, chairman for the Australian mining company which is investing in the Nordic region and which would like to use Narvik’s harbour. But it is Finland which comes out top in the world as the best place to do mining, according to the annual World Risk Survey. Finnish Tekes, which channels state money for research and development, has just launched a new programme to stimulate growth among businesses which can produce sustainable mining equipment.

Klondike conditions, boom and new jobs. Sweden wants to put Nordic mining  cooperation on the agenda when it takes over the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2013. In Portrait the minister for cooperation Ewa Björling says there is no such cooperation today. So she wants to make this happen from 2013. ”To me the most important thing is that companies keep as close a focus as possible on environmental issues," says Ewa Björling to Nordic Labour Journal.


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