Excerpted from the Sweden Career Guide
Sweden’s economy fared better than most during the years of European financial crises. In 2010, its economy grew three times faster than the eurozone’s.However, the weak euro has translated into sluggish economic growth for Sweden over the past several years. Sweden’s manufacturing sector has been struggling from a decline in exports and investments; last year was the weakest export market the country had experienced in 20 years. This is due in part to the European financial crisis and to the fact that Swedish costs are high compared to those of other countries. The Swedish krona has appreciated more than the currencies of its other trading partners, leading to lower exports. As a result, only moderate growth is predicted over the next four years. The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is forecasted to be 2.2 percent for this year and 3.3 percent next year.
The Swedish unemployment rate is currently 7.2 percent. Swedish employment services provider Arbetsförmedlingen predicts that the job market will continue to grow and actually accelerate in the final months of this year. Over the past several years, labor force participation has been relatively high – especially in the services sector.
Areas of Job Promise
ManpowerGroup’s most recent Employment Outlook survey predicts the strongest hiring over the next quarter will be in the finance, real estate and consulting sectors. The worst hiring outlooks are in construction and mining.
The top ten growth occupations in Sweden, as predicted by the European Vacancy Monitor, are the following:
- Administrative and specialized secretaries
- Nursery and early childhood teachers
- Administration professionals
- Heavy truck and bus drivers
- Physical and engineering science technicians
- Social and religious professionals
- Life science professionals
- Car, van and motorcycle drivers
- Child care workers and teachers’ aides
- Finance professionals
Sweden does not have a legal minimum wage. Rather, unions and employers jointly set collective agreements. High starting salaries compared to those of other EU countries have been blamed by some economists for Sweden’s high youth unemployment rate. Many believe employers are reluctant to take financial chances on inexperienced new hires. Hourly labor costs in Sweden are the highest in the EU at 43 EUR per hour – nearly double the EU 27 private sector average of 23.70 EUR.
This is just a sample of what you'll find in the complete Sweden guide.