What if the U.S. started paying its unemployed citizens to get jobs in Canada? Far-fetched as it sounds, one Swedish town is more or less doing just that.
In an aim to cope with an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent, the town of Soderhamn, in conjunction with Sweden's national employment office, is paying young unemployed Swedes to look for jobs in neighboring Norway, according to the Daily Telegraph. The “Job Journey” program offers job-hunting guidance and pays for a one month stay at a youth hostel in Oslo. So far, about 100 young Swedes have taken the government up on its offer.
The Swedish economy has taken a hit over the last few months, with the nation’s economic growth falling from July’s 1.4 percent estimate to 0.7 percent in September. Sweden’s economy is mostly export-based, so the decreasing demand for exports has caused job loss, as well as talk of another recession.
Norway, on the other hand, was recently rated Europe’s best-performing economy.
Swedes are not the only ones going to Norway for jobs though. The Norwegian unemployment rate is 2.8 percent and an estimated 25,000 jobs were available as of last January, according to the United Nations Regional Information Centre For Western Europe. The number of Greek, Spanish, and Italian immigrants to Norway is growing steadily, with Norway being described as “the promised land” for unemployed Europeans.
Other nations have taken drastic measures to employ young workers. The France government, for one, is paying companies to hire young people. The government will pay 75 percent of any new employee’s salary for the first year of employment, if the employee is between the ages of 16 and 25.