Introduction

The Swedish Job Market

Sweden is renowned for its good working conditions. The country has succeeded in combining a capitalist economy with a strong welfare system, making it very attractive to expats. Despite a recent slowdown in the economy, Sweden’s job market continues to be among the most competitive in Europe.

Sweden has an excellent welfare system and offers very good working conditions. The working week is limited to 40 hours and every employee is guaranteed 25 days of paid holidays a year. The minimum wage is not legally enforced, but negotiated between trade unions and employers under collective agreements for different job sectors. Social conflicts are very rare in Sweden, with most labour disputes resolved between employers and the relevant labour organisations.

In Sweden, like most European countries, there are relatively high rates of unemployment. Experts predict that the unemployment rate might rise to 9% in 2010. Despite this, Sweden still offers opportunities to expats in specific job sectors with high employment demands. This is especially the case in engineering, the IT sector, public health and education. An aging population and a tendency to early retirement is likely to create opportunities in coming years.

If you are looking to work in Sweden, it is recommended you take Swedish lessons, as this is an advantage. As the general level of English is high, this skill will not give you much of an advantage over the natives. You might also consider going to less populated regions, where the demand for skilled workers is higher, such as the North. However, be aware of the harsh climate and the long dark winter nights.


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