During 2017, the average unemployment rate in the Gothenburg region was 5.7 per cent for the age group 16-64 years. The same figures for the Stockholm and Malmö regions were 6.1 per cent and 10.2 per cent, respectively. For Sweden overall, the figure was 7.5 per cent.
These were some of the highlights drawn from the findings in Business Region Göteborg’s new report Arbetslöshet i Göteborgsregionen 2018 (Unemployment in the Gothenburg region 2018).
“The region’s booming economy has had a strong effect on the falling unemployment that we saw during 2017. Several sectors are the main drivers, including IT services, automotive, construction and chemicals. The combination of a strong service sector and knowledge driven industries gives the region an extra push to get people into employment. At the same time, we are seeing that industry in other parts of the country isn’t performing as well,” says Peter Warda, analyst and author of the report.
High unemployment among foreign-born residents
The Gothenburg region is the only metropolitan region in Sweden that experienced a drop in unemployment among foreign-born residents; although the unemployment rate for the group remains high at 16.4 per cent. This was lower than for the Malmö region (24.9 per cent), but higher than the Stockholm region (14.3 per cent).
Of the 28,000 people in the age group 16-64 years who are unemployed in the Gothenburg region, 16,700 were foreign-born, or nearly 60 per cent. In 2015, the corresponding figure was 51 per cent.
Many foreign born residents have gained employment
Between 2016 and 2017 the unemployment rate for the age group 16-64 years has decreased in 7 of the Gothenburg region’s 13 municipalities. The unemployment rate, however, increased in Kungälv, Mölndal and Tjörn, and was unchanged in Kungsbacka, Lerum and Stenungsund.
“Unemployment is considerably higher among the foreign born population and new refills of unemployed people are occurring every month. But it’s also important to note that job growth among foreign-born residents has been strong. Last year the number of people employed increased by 14,000, and half were foreign-born,” says Peter Warda.
Shortage of skills
In recent years, the number of vacant jobs with permanent employment has risen considerably in the Gothenburg region. Since 2015 the number of vacancies has fluctuated between 6,500 and 8,500. Meanwhile, as over 28,000 people are unemployed, there are record numbers of vacant positions.
“Based on companies’ needs, we are developing new ways of working and models to improve job matching and to make it easier for more people to get proper and important jobs - not in the least within tourism, care and healthcare, education, as well as consultant positions for the construction, IT and automotive sectors,” says Anna-Lena Johansson, operations strategist for skills supply at Business Region Göteborg.
“Us actors who are involved need to have a new way of thinking, gather our efforts and scale up the things that work well,” she adds.
* Arbetslöshet i Göteborgsregionen is only available in Swedish