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Now is the best time to start looking for summer jobs in Sweden

Whether you're a student, job-seeker, or keen to move to Sweden for work, it's the right time to start looking for summer and seasonal jobs.

Now is the best time to start looking for summer jobs in Sweden
Many of the summer jobs on offer are in the healthcare, tourism, and food sectors. Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson/TT

The good news is that despite a slightly less strong labour market, there are likely to be plenty of vacancies over the summer season.

Over the past few years, there's been a trend for employers to prepare for the summer earlier and earlier, including advertising and hiring for temporary positions.

Between December and the end of January, 49,000 summer jobs were advertised via the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen). That's almost as many as were advertised over the same time period last year, which at the time was a record high.

In 2019, a further 79,000 summer roles were advertised between February and the start of summer.

“There's no sign that it will be any different this year,” said Johan Eklöf, an analyst at the Swedish Public Employment Service. 

He did note that the slightly weaker economy might mean fewer positions for summer temp workers in the industrial sector. But in the healthcare sector for example, there is just as great a need for nurses, nursing assistants, and similar roles.

“Healthcare isn't sensitive to market fluctuations,” noted Eklöf, who pointed to the hospitality and tourism industries as other sectors with strong possibilities for job-hunters.

“In February and March, the cafe jobs start to show up in the ads, so it's high time to start looking for them now,” he said.

Unlike many jobs in the healthcare sector, these roles typically don't require specialized education, making them especially suitable for young people or new arrivals in Sweden who are currently lacking the qualifications or Swedish language skills needed in many sectors.

It's also worth noting that the roles advertised through the Swedish Public Employment Service only represent a portion of the summer jobs available. Many private companies use other channels to advertise, including their own websites, social media, and the networks of existing employees, with a large number of jobs in Sweden obtained through personal connections.

Vocabulary

summer/holiday job — (ett) sommarjobb/feriejobb

last year — i fjol

state of the market/economy — (en) konjunktur

temp/substitute — (en) vikarie

(health)care — vård

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READER QUESTIONS

Reader question: When am I eligible for a Swedish pension?

A reader got in touch to ask how long he had to work in Sweden before he was eligible for a pension. Here are Sweden's pension rules, and how you can get your pension when the time comes.

Reader question: When am I eligible for a Swedish pension?

The Swedish pension is part of the country’s social insurance system, and it can seem like a confusing beast at times. The good news is that if you’re living and working here, you’ll almost certainly be earning towards a pension, and you’ll be able to get that money even if you move elsewhere before retirement.

You will start earning your Swedish general pension, or allmän pension, once you’ve earned over 20,431 kronor in a single year, and – for almost all kinds of pension in Sweden – there is no time limit on how long you must have lived in Sweden before you are eligible.

The exception is the minimum guarantee pension, or garantipension, which you can receive whether you’ve worked or not. To be eligible at all for this, you need to have lived in Sweden for a period of at least three years before you are 65 years old. 

“There’s a limit, but it’s a money limit,” Johan Andersson, press secretary at the Swedish Pension Agency told The Local about the general pension. “When you reach the point that you start paying tax, you start paying into your pension.”

“But you have to apply for your pension, make sure you get in touch with us when you want to start receiving it,” he said.

Here’s our in-depth guide on how you can maximise your Swedish pension, even if you’re only planning on staying in Sweden short-term.

Those who spend only a few years working in Sweden will earn a much smaller pension than people who work here for their whole lives, but they are still entitled to something – people who have worked in Sweden will keep their income pension, premium pension, supplementary pension and occupational pension that they have earned in Sweden, even if they move to another country. The pension is paid no matter where in the world you live, but must be applied for – it is not automatically paid out at retirement age.

If you retire in the EU/EEA, or another country with which Sweden has a pension agreement, you just need to apply to the pension authority in your country of residence in order to start drawing your Swedish pension. If you live in a different country, you should contact the Swedish Pensions Agency for advice on accessing your pension, which is done by filling out a form (look for the form called Ansök om allmän pension – om du är bosatt utanför Sverige).

The agency recommends beginning the application process at least three months before you plan to take the pension, and ideally six months beforehand if you live abroad. It’s possible to have the pension paid into either a Swedish bank account or an account outside Sweden.

A guarantee pension – for those who live on a low income or no income while in Sweden – can be paid to those living in Sweden, an EU/EEA country, Switzerland or, in some cases, Canada. This is the only Swedish pension which is affected by how long you’ve lived in Sweden – you can only receive it if you’ve lived in the country for at least three years before the age of 65.

“The guarantee pension is residence based,” Andersson said. “But it’s lower if you haven’t lived in Sweden for at least 40 years. You are eligible for it after living in Sweden for only three years, but it won’t be that much.”

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