Revealed: Swedes expected to work longest in Europe

The Local Sweden
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Revealed: Swedes expected to work longest in Europe
Not what we wanted to hear on a Monday. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Ever think that Sweden, with its generous parental leave and culture of month-long summer holidays sounds like a dream place to work?


Perhaps it’s worth thinking again, as it turns out that Swedes are the citizens in Europe expected to work the largest number of years during their lives, with the predicted 41.2 working years there the longest on average in the European Union.

The average over the whole EU by comparison was six years less: 35.4 years.

The figures have been revealed by EU statistical office Eurostat, who measured the number of years people aged 15 by 2015 in each EU nation was expected to be active in the labour market throughout his or her life.

Anyone worried about spending too much of their life on the job may want to avoid moving to Sweden, judging by the study. Working life in the Scandinavian nation is predicted to last around ten years longer than in Italy for example, where it is expected to be 30.7 years for 2015’s 15-year-olds.

A gender gap can also be observed, with men in Sweden expected to work two more years (a total of 42.2 years) than women (40.1 years). Only Lithuania has no gender gap between the sexes when it comes to expected working life.

Overall, the study shows that expected duration of working life in the EU is increasing, with the EU-wide average of 35.4 years up by 1.9 years compared to 2005. Predicted working life has increased more rapidly for women (up 2.6 years) than men (1.2 years) during that time period.

The Eurostat study is based on demographic and labour market data from the European Labour Force Survey. It covers people who reside in each country irrespective of where they actually work (so in other words, if you live in Malmö but work in Copenhagen for example, you still count as a Swedish worker under the study’s parameters).

READ ALSO: Why Sweden is a long way from six-hour days


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