View Full Version : Prices and living conditions

March 28th, 2005, 01:03 PM
So how do wages in Sveden compare to here? It's got to the point here where we have to turn down jobs that pay $10-12.00/hour, because that only covers transportation costs driving to work & back.
For companies associated with the union, I believe the lowest accepted payment is around $11 per hour before taxes (which are in the 30-40% range), but it varies a lot depending on which kind of job we're talking about. For someone not associated with the union, it can definitely go below that, maybe down to $5-6/hour for low- to medium skilled jobs.
Entrance level for "graduate" jobs (engineering, marketing etc) should be at least $15/hour, and of course there is no caps upwards. A qualified wage is about $20/hour before taxes, and anything above $24/hour should be considered well paid.

Wages - and living costs - are generally even higher in Norway, so it is not uncommon to live on the Swedish side and work on the Norwegian side of the border. For the same reason, Norwegians on holiday in Sweden find it an inexpensive place and shop along on "cheap" meat, tobacco, alcohol and porno mags, of which the latter is not allowed to be sold in Norway AFAIU.

Terry Yager
March 28th, 2005, 02:04 PM
Wow! How do people get by? Two jobs? (That's pretty common over here). If you have children, the proceeds from job #1 pay for transportation and child care, and you need the second job to live on. We must have stronger unions, because entry-level wages for an auto worker is around $15/hr for simple assembly-line work. Skilled trades of course are higher-paid. We do have a Federal minimum wage here which I believe is around $5.75/hr, but almost nobody pays that little because they know nobody will work that cheap. The real minimum wage starts around $8/hr.


March 29th, 2005, 01:17 AM
Most people would not accept anything less than $10/hour here, but it depends if you have any other source of income, like unemployment support, funds etc. I suppose if you are outside of all social security networks - and yes, it can happen even in a nice country like this - you would take the job even if the union strongly advices against. The alternative is to live for $0/hour. While the union would not care, you do.

Speaking about unemployment, Germany seems like a rough country for someone out of jobs. Previously there was a report about a 25 year old girl with at least a partitially finished Uni degree looking for any kind of job; along the lines of waitress, shop assistant etc. She was told to apply for some telephone sex line hiring new girls, or her unemployment support would be cut due to denying to apply to all suitable jobs. It was featured internationally, but I don't know how the case ended. Technically the unemployment office was correct; the telephone sex company was running a legal business and she fit their recruiting profile.

A few days ago I also read about www.jobdumping.de, which is what it sounds like; you bid on (short term?) jobs offered, and typically the lowest bid wins. Cynical? Fresh thinking? Adopted to the reality? You decide.

Terry Yager
March 29th, 2005, 08:39 AM
That's unfortunate about that German girl, but I suppose the same thing could (theoretically) happen here too, or even in Sveden. I suppose there are even worse kinds of work that are still legal, like being a stripper, or even a prostitute in Nevada, where prostitution is legal.
My g/f has a degree in health care administration, and nine years experience running a quasi-government (non-profit) agency, but was forced to do clerical-type work thru Kelly Services for over a year, until she managed to land a more permanent job with FEMA. She's still doing clerical work there tho. When she was seeking work, she was advised by a head-hunter that she had to dumb-down her resume to prevent being passed-over as being over-qualified.


March 29th, 2005, 11:54 AM
Dumb-down.. *giggle* But I see what you mean, being over qualified can be a big disadvantage here as well. Thinking about that German girl, I am no longer sure it only involved telephone; it may have been some more physical tasks too. While prostitution is legal in Nevada, would the unemployment office over there also not be allowed to deny recruitment from such businesses? This is the key point here, all companies who have a legal business should be allowed to take use of the hiring facilities and in combination with strict rules about jobtaker can not prefer to stay out of work if there is an opening (!) would create the ugly scenario. Of course (s)he could try to migrate elsewhere or live on savings and relatives for a while.

Actually, only a few days ago a Swedish porno operator announced in the unemployment office looking for "business optimizers", described as marketeers and web developers, but in reality appears to be sellers of your typical mail order porno movies. The officials in the authority are of course furious, but as long as the company runs a legal business the lawyers can not prohibit them. Then again, selling vs participating in a morally dubious product maybe for some people is a lesser issue.

vic user
March 29th, 2005, 12:47 PM
wow Terry your g/f works for FEMA! :wink:


Terry Yager
March 29th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Yah! Scary, ain't it?


April 6th, 2005, 04:31 PM
And while we add to the discussion, fuel price keeps rocketing. A combination of a slightly stronger USD, the expected shortage of fuel for the summer and some fund stockbrokers have begun to speculate in oil makes it more expensive for every day now; 10.82 SEK/l when I refuelled tonight and 11 is well within reach.

Experts over here believe it will reach 13 SEK/l shortly and maybe 15 SEK/l (yep, US$8/gallon) within a few years. As China and India also get more wealthy and more people can afford cars, the demand for gas will become even higher.

Maybe alternative fuel sources will play a bigger role too, but it only makes a difference for brand new cars and as long as the politicians put a penalizing energy tax on environmental alternative fuels - to not make it too competitive compared to the old fuels - I'm afraid it will be a test-bed and have a marginal market share.

Micom 2000
April 15th, 2005, 09:53 PM
Not as scary as being a canuck neighboring on a country which is rapidly
becoming like Nazi Germany and being a bigger supplier of oil than Saudi Arabia, the major supplier of hydro power, a water abundant country, and
a resource-rich country whose populace is ripe for health-care vultures.
Not to mention a subservient government of ex CEOs.

Time to head for the mountains with guns. Nothing personal, it's your
government. We kicked your ass last time. Sorry about burning the White House.

[ quote="Terry Yager"]Yah! Scary, ain't it?