Young Swedes earn less than in nineties

Young Swedes are earning less today than they did in the early nineties, a new survey has shown. The survey, conducted by Statistics Sweden, also shows that there women get paid less than men for doing the same job, even though a higher percentage of women have a university education.

Statistics Sweden looked at wages between 1991 and 2003 for 16 to 29-year olds in Sweden. It found that people under 25 earned less on average in 2003 than they did in 1991, although people aged 25- 29 earned more than people of the same age did in the early nineties.

The survey also showed market differences between young men and women’s salaries. Only among people aged 16 to 19 was there no difference in average earnings for men and women. Wage differences between men and women 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 years, have actually increased.

One of the main factors behind the difference was the fact that people tend to study longer now than they did a decade ago. In 1991, the average msn entered the job market at the age of 22; women at age 23. In 2000 the average age was 27 for men and 29 for women.

“There are a number of factors behind this picture. Although higher education tends to decrease wage differences, women are still earning 85 to 90 percent of men’s wages,” said Statistics Sweden’s Susanne Svartengren.

“At the moment, 45 percent of women aim for a higher education while only 35 percent of men have the same goal.”.

Other factors that contribute to the discrepancy are that women study for a longer period than men and are often found in lower-paid jobs. They work part-time and lose income when they go on maternity leave.

The survey also shows that men that have a higher education and work with low-paid women, in health care for example, are found to have a high income. The same is true for highly educated women who earn more than men while working in the same business.

“You could say that men in health care are doctors and women are nurses. Women in industry are engineers and men are industrial workers,” says Camilla Palm from Statistics Sweden.

Front page photo: Per Magnus Persson/ (c) Johnér Bildbyrå/