Labour market information

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Sweden - National Level

Short overview of the labour market


Sweden has just over 10 million inhabitants and the population is expected to increase by around 1% per annum over the next few years and estimated to exceed 11 million in 2026. The number of people in the workforce has risen considerably in recent years and is expected to continue increasing in the next few years. In 2019, unemployment amongst 15-74 year-olds was on average 6.7%. In 2020-2021 unemployment is expected to rise in connection with weakened economic climate.

In 2019, the number of people in employment (15-74 year-olds) on the Swedish labour market increased by 34 000, corresponding to 0.7%. Employment increased in both the private and the public services sector and in the construction sector, whilst it fell slightly in industry. In 2020 and 2021, employment is expected to continue to grow, but very slightly. Sweden has among the highest employment rates of all EU countries and the employment rate is expected to decline marginally over the next few years.

The number of vacancies notified to the Swedish Public Employment Service is at a relatively high level, which is an indication that many employers still have significant recruitment needs despite the economic downturn. Knowledge requirements are high on the Swedish labour market and have increased over time. For applicants without any form of upper-secondary education, the chances of finding a job are poor. There is a strong, long-term upward trend in employment in occupations at tertiary education level. In the next few years, there are also expected to be additional jobs in occupations at secondary education level. Competition for certain jobs at this level will continue to be tough, as jobseekers with tertiary education are also applying for these jobs.

Demand for labour is expected to remain high. This will lead to a gradually declining supply of skilled labour in an increasing number of occupations. The output from the educational system will not meet the overall demand for labour. New jobs will arise in occupations at upper-secondary school level, but also in occupations that require tertiary education. As a minimum, recruiters usually require job applicants to have completed upper-secondary school education. There are very few jobs on the Swedish labour market that require only very low or no formal education.


Text last edited on: 07/2020

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