Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Working Life in Sweden from a Social Risk and Inequality Perspective

Lars-Christer Hydén

The project aims to understand the effects and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on working life in Sweden from a social risk and inequality perspective, considering age and gender factors in particular.

The COVID-19 pandemic sets the stage for a gigantic epidemiological and economic, and social and cultural global experiment. Sweden plays a manifest role as a systematic outlier among various state's reactions to the pandemic, given that Sweden had limited pandemic restrictions.

Not much is known about the societal consequences for individuals. To date, The Division of Ageing and Social Change (ASC) conducted two waves of a study consisting of an online survey on age- and gender-related risks for exclusion, discrimination, and disadvantage during the COVID-19 outbreak.

About the Project

This project aims to understand the risks of exclusion from working life against the backdrop of of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It focuses on the tension between active ageing norms and risk-group definitions in addition to the future of work participation under the conditions of COVID-19, the revised employment protection act, health services and related discourses.

The goal is to:

a) provide an overview of people’s experiences and

b) understand trends over the progress of the crises.

Differences among Age, Gender, Social Classes and Regions

In addition to age, we want to address the differences among genders, social classes and regions. Starting from these we want to contribute to social discourse concerning risks for exclusion, discrimination and disadvantage based on age and its interplay with other social indicators.

Research Questions

The endeavour is guided by three basic research questions:

  • What sort of changes in work situations and conditions are experienced by people of various ages in Sweden as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak? And what are the consequences of these changes for people’s lives?
  • How satisfied are people of different ages with their individual situations caused by the conditions imposed during the pandemic, and what are the key difficulties or even new comforts? 
  • What are people’s future prospects during and after the crisis? 

Research on Ageing and Social Change

Contact us