Jobs For Members

The answers to 10 of your questions about the Swedish job market right now

The Local Sweden
The Local Sweden - [email protected]
The answers to 10 of your questions about the Swedish job market right now
What are the most important qualities Swedish recruiters look for? Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Is it possible to find a job if you don't speak Swedish, and which job sectors are expected to take the longest to recover after the pandemic? The Local puts readers' questions to the experts.


The Local asked readers to send us their questions about working in Sweden and we put them to Fredrik Mörtberg, analyst at the Swedish Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedligen). Here are his answers.

The first three questions are from our journalist, the rest are from readers.

What jobs were in demand before the pandemic and which ones have been less affected?

Before the pandemic most job vacancies (in numbers) were in customer service staff, assistant nurses, nurses, cashiers and personal assistants. This is based on the number of vacancies at our employment website between January and March this year.

The jobs that have been less affected are nurses and assistant nurses, due to the high demand for staff in the healthcare sector.

Which job sectors have taken the biggest hit as a result of the coronavirus? Which ones are likely to take longer to recover?

These are examples but some of the jobs that have taken a big hit are cashiers, waiters, customer service staff, shop assistants, chefs and also restaurant and kitchen assistants. Shop assistants and cashiers are likely to take longer to recover. The jobs in restaurants may also have a longer way back if the restrictions will last for a very long time.  

Could you give us a general overview of the Swedish job market as a result of the pandemic? Any trends or forecasts?

The situation on the Swedish job market is strained at the moment. Redundancies from March to September are at an all-time high and the number of unemployed has increased rapidly. Unemployment will increase further until 2021 but the uncertainty is great. 


The restaurant industry has taken a big hit during the pandemic. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Do employers consider hiring people over the age of 55 in Sweden?

A difficult question to answer. It depends on a number of different factors, for example the jobs you are applying for and your level of education.

Do Swedish companies prefer to offer full-time positions or short-term contracts or private contractors?

Both. It depends on what kind of job and in which sector. Entry-level jobs are more likely to have part-time contracts.

Is it possible to find a job if you don't speak Swedish?

If you wish to live and work in Sweden, learning the language is very important. You will find it difficult to get a job without at least basic knowledge of Swedish; most jobs require fluency.

There are some exceptions such as in higher technical professions or other sectors where highly skilled competence is required. Then, English is often the working language. 


English may be more common in the tech industry in Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Do I need a personnummer to get a job?

If you are moving to Sweden for one year or more, you should normally be registered in the Swedish Population Register (administrated by the Swedish Tax Agency, Skatteverket), and thereby receive a Swedish personal identity number. It is however possible to have the right to reside in Sweden, without a personal identity number.

You do not need a personal identity number in order to seek employment in Sweden. You can register on the Swedish Public Employment Service website and through them look for job opportunities. The Employment Service can assist in providing you with a coordination number from the Swedish Tax Agency.

What are the most important qualities Swedish recruiters look for overall?

The most important thing is to have completed a high school education. If not, you will have a much tougher situation when applying for a job.

Where can someone who isn't in Sweden apply for jobs in the country before moving there?

You can start your job search on Arbetsförmedlingen, which is Sweden's largest and most visited employment website. In addition to job ads, we also offer useful advice and tools to help you find work.

What are the requirements for refugees to be able to work?

This question is difficult to answer but I can refer you to the Swedish Migration Agency.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also