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Peter Warda, analyst at Business Region Göteborg

Wage sum surges in the Gothenburg region

The private sector's wage sum in the Gothenburg region grew by nearly 7 per cent, which is much higher than for Sweden as a whole. This was one of the findings of Business Region Göteborg’s second Economic Outlook report of the year.

”A large portion of this wage sum growth is due to new highly qualified and well paid jobs being created in the region,” says Peter Warda, analyst at Business Region Göteborg.

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The region’s economy continues to prosper. More sectors than before are experiencing a boom, employment is growing strongly and unemployment, which continues to be the lowest among Sweden’s metropolitan region, is now at its lowest level since 2008.

Strong increase in total wage sum

Employment in the Gothenburg region has increased and this has strengthened the total wage sum, which rose by 7 per cent on an annual basis. The same figure for Sweden as a whole was 4.4 per cent.

 “This is yet another sign that the region’s knowledge intensive industry and fast growing service sector are thriving. Much of the wage sum growth is due to new highly qualified and highly paid jobs being created in the region, rather than jobs in general becoming better paid,” says Peter Warda who presented the report findings to a full house at the Göteborg Opera on June 21.

“Usually the private sector accounts for 75 to 80 per cent of the total wage sum growth. This time it accounted for 86 per cent, which is higher than we have ever seen before. Wage sum growth has previously been around four to five per cent, and now we really see that the jobs being created are well paid, which will also have a positive effect on GRP (gross regional product) in the future.”

Eight years with positive jobs growth

The Gothenburg region’s businesses continue to create jobs, with IT, construction and automotive the key drivers. During the first quarter of 2018 employment growth in the region was 1.8 per cent year-on-year and this was the 32nd consecutive quarter with positive jobs growth.

“During these eight years over 80,000 jobs have been created in the Gothenburg region, which is equivalent to the total number of workers in Sweden’s sixth largest municipality for employment Linköping,” says Peter Warda.

Lowest unemployment rate since 2008

In May 2019, the unemployment rate in the Gothenburg region was 5.4 per cent, which is the lowest figure since December 2008 and remains the lowest among Sweden’s metropolitan regions. Unemployment is decreasing across all groups. The largest drop is seen among foreign-born young adults, where the unemployment rate remains relatively high at 21.2 per cent (27.9 per cent for Sweden as a whole).

More sectors experiencing economic boom

The economic tendency indicator for the Gothenburg region was 46, where a score of 40 indicates an economic boom. The automotive industry was the leading performer with an index score of 74. Companies within wholesale, machinery, business services, IT consultants, construction and chemicals are also going strongly.

“A growing number of sectors are benefiting from the good global conditions and domestic consumption and are posting an index score that shows an economic boom. At the same time companies report that it’s difficult to find competence,” says Peter Warda.

Record low vacancy rate for office space

During the first quarter of 2018, the office vacancy rate in Gothenburg was 3.6 per cent.

“The vacancy rate has never been as low as it is now, with nearly no vacant office space in central parts of the city. This can be problematic for companies that want to expand or establish operations in Gothenburg,” says Peter Warda.

Download the Economic Outlook report here

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