Employment in Sweden is expected to increase by 20,000 people before 2013, according to a prognosis by Arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish Public Employment Service). But behind those numbers a divided Sweden is hidden, where Stockholm is pulling a heavier load and the rest of the country is trying hard to catch up.

“Stockholm keeps being the draw hook on the job market in Sweden,” says Håkan Gustavsson, analyst at Arbetsförmedlingen. In Stockholm municipality alone the number of employees is expected to increase to 24,000 before 2013, a much greater increase than in the rest of the country. The explanation? The job market in the rest of Sweden is decreasing.


“That’s how it is, even if there are some administrative counties that are on the plus side,” Gustavsson continues. “There are great differences between the administrative counties when it comes to industry. We see a troublesome development for the industry, but a stronger development for the private civil sector.”
Apart from Stockholm, Västra Götaland also is expected to contribute to the growing job market. Skåne is the one big city county that shows the weakest development. Around 10,000 jobs will disappear in industry, according to the prognosis, and the counties expected to feel it the most are the industry-heavy counties in south and central Sweden. In spite of the growing job market, unemployment is also expected to increase. And the explanation for that is that labor grows faster than jobs become available. The prognosis is based on interviews with 12,000 employers as well as with municipalities and county councils. For the young and undecided, it looks like the hotel and restaurant business is the one that will need most people in the near future. Two out of three restaurant owners say the need to re-hire employees has increased more than 10 percent. “It’s a line of work with ‘easy’ jobs, that may be a step onto the job market for many,” says Magnus Stridh, director of the Stockholm Gotland district at Arbetsförmedlingen.

Stockholm is growing... fast! Every fourth Swede in Stockholm! And, there are creative ways to deal with the growth: Stockholm, a Swedish Manhattan?