• 6.4




Key drivers

Wage Pressure in High-Skill Industries (9.1)

The wage premium for high-skilled industries fell this year. Workers in professional, scientific and technical activities are amongst those whose average wages declined.

Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupations (2.2)

The wage gap between computer specialists, accountants and other high-skill occupations declined relative to their lower-skilled colleagues.

Overall Wage Pressure (6.9)

Real wage growth is forecast to slow again this year, easing the pressure on employers’ wage bills.


Education Flexibility


Labour Market Participation


Labour Market Flexibility


Talent Mismatch


Overall Wage Pressure


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Industries


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupation


View from the Ground

There are a couple of challenges facing the Swedish labour market this year. For instance, after years of decline, the unemployment rate is expected to rise this year due to weak job growth, while GDP growth is set to slow to around 2%. Looking at Sweden’s findings from this year’s Index shows that while the Overall Index Score has decreased this year, Sweden is still amongst the most pressured labour markets of all 34 economies examined. The Talent Mismatch Indicator has risen from 9.9 to the highest possible score at 10.0, this shows that the gap between the skills wanted by businesses and the skills available in the labour market is now at its greatest.

Nora Gunneng, Managing Director, Hays Sweden

Key Skills in Demand

  • Process Engineers
  • Project Leaders
  • Laboratory Engineers
  • IT Developers (Java, embedded)
  • Testers/Test Leaders

Market Insight

In 2018, Swedish GDP rose by 2.4%, virtually unchanged from its level in the previous two years. The growth was boosted by investment spending and export earnings.

Strong job gains meant the country reached a post-crisis low of 6.2% unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2018. Labour market participation increased to over 73% from already high levels, while productivity growth slowed to a similar pace to that in other advanced economies.

Sweden has approved labour market reforms in recent years, but challenges remain. Aiming to increase employment of the low-skilled and immigrants, the Swedish Government recently increased resources for education and simplified its policies to boost employer participation. However, unemployment rates in these segments remain much higher than for the rest of the working population.