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Ongoing project

Changing health and skills requirements in the labour market?

Project period August 2018 - June 2022
Project employer Norges forskningsråd
Project nr. 10268
Project leader Erling Barth
photo of people on job hunt


Project Approach

This project studies recent changes in skills and health requirements facing workers. Recent developments, such as technological change, organizational change, and globalization may change the composition of jobs in terms of skills and health requirments.

The focus of this project is on marginal workers, i.e. worker with low formal skills and/or with health challenges:

  • Which of these underlying develpments work for, and which work against, the inclusion of marginal workers, and who are more vulnerable to change, workers with disabilities, weak health or workers with low skills?

For instance; while restructuring from globalization may affect workers with low skills and health challenges negatively, the robot revolution may change job requirements to the advantage of workers with certain health challenges positively.

At the same time, and partly as a response to the same underlying forces, institutional aspects of the labour market are changing. Non-typical labour contracts appear to be on the rise. Domestic outsourcing creates several layers of organisational units between the worker and the employer or principal, self-employed workers may do tasks that were previously undertaken by employed workers, and various forms of temporary contracts are employed to limit the contractual obligations of the employer.

On the one hand, these forms of contracts may be seen as promoting flexibility and innovation, and as providing stepping stones for marginal workers. On the other hand, they may stimulate segregation into a two-tier labour market:

  • Who are impacted by the changes in contractual arrangements, and how is the sorting in and out of non-typical contracts for workers with low skills or health and disability challenges?

The project is also part of CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality at the Institute for Social Research.


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Erling Barth Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 930 91 410
Harald Dale-Olsen Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 482 83 527 +47 958 08 463
Inés Hardoy Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 472 45 113
Marianne Røed Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 480 39 594
Marte Strøm Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 408 85 333
Janis Umblijs Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 925 27 810
Kristine von Simson Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 997 00 073
Kjersti Misje Østbakken Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 991 62 556
Richard Freeman (Harvard University og NBER)
Idunn Brekke (Nova, OsloMet)
Tags: Working Life
Published June 29, 2018 12:29 PM - Last modified Nov. 8, 2018 3:29 PM