After the pandemic, the economic situation recovered rapidly. Unfortunately, the current geopolitical situation does not allow for very sustainable growth, and GDP is projected to increase by only about 1% in 2023. Therefore, it is not so easy to find jobs in Sweden, especially if you do not have the right qualifications and do not speak Swedish.
In any case, unemployment has decreased compared to previous years and stands at around 6.5%.
Jobs in Sweden
To put it bluntly: Finding a job in Sweden isn’t so easy for a foreigner for several reasons:
- There are very few ‘casual jobs” in Sweden and moonlighting is also very rare
- Sweden has ‘only’ 10 million inhabitants, so the labor market isn’t huge
- When hiring, priority is given to Swedes and/or residents
So your chances of finding a job are directly proportional:
- if your profession is in demand in Sweden
- if you know the Swedish language
For example, if you are a nurse or welder and you speak Swedish, you will have no problem finding a job right away. However, if your profession is unfortunately not in high demand, you do not speak Swedish, and you may not even be an EU citizen, your only chance of finding a job in Sweden is to be recommended by someone (in fact, most jobs in Sweden are filled through personal contacts).
If you do not even speak English, you have virtually no chance of being hired. Remember that without English, not only will you not be able to communicate in the workplace, but you will not be able to find a job or an apartment.
And do not think it’s easy to find a job with just English. You will find highly skilled jobs that are in high demand (STEM). Or in hospitality or seasonal agricultural jobs, where English is often sufficient. I would like to point out that in seasonal agricultural work there are sometimes cases of exploitation or fraud of non-EU citizens by their compatriots. I therefore recommend you to be careful.
However, the general rule of thumb always applies: the less skilled the job you will be doing, the more likely it is that you will be required to have (at least basic) knowledge of the local language (in this case, Swedish). After all, all work instructions will be in Swedish, many colleagues will speak Swedish, and the customers or people you will be dealing with will speak Swedish.
To find a job, you can use not only Linkedin, which always remains one of the best resources, but also the most popular Swedish job search websites,
- Arbetsförmedlingen, Swedish Employment service
- Blocket, (only in Swedish)
- JobSafari, (only in Swedish)
I also recommend that you always take a look at the Swedish newspapers, as there are many job advertisements there.
Most in-demand jobs in Sweden
Currently the most in-demand jobs in Sweden are in the following sectors:
- Health, (doctors, nurses, physical therapists, etc.)
- Engineering, (electronics technicians, mechanics, etc.)
- Teaching, (kindergarten teachers, professors, etc.)
- IT, (software developers, systems analysts, etc.)
- Construction, (masons, carpenters, tile setters, etc.)
- Skilled trades, (plumbers, electricians, welders, etc.)
- Hospitality, (cooks, waiters, etc.)
Work culture in Sweden
The corporate structure in Sweden is horizontal, leaves a lot of room for initiative, and employees perform their work with complete autonomy. Everyone participates at the decision-making level. Planning is one of the most important points of the Swedes, both in their personal lives and at work. Everything is organized and planned well in advance, meetings and discussions are scheduled weeks or even months in advance.
Although the Swedish work rhythm is not relaxed but rather intense, the employees are always friendly and ready to help when needed. It is certainly not the best place to work in the world, but the Swedish work environment is second to none in terms of the quality of personal relationships and meritocracy. The excellent work-life balance should not be overlooked.
If you are interested in learning more about how to work in Sweden, I recommend reading the article: Working in Sweden