Monday, March 25, 2013

The Swedish job market

The other day, I went to Arbetsförmedlingen (national job agency) with other students to gather some information about jobs in Sweden. Even though I am currently writing my Master Thesis, I am also looking for Swedish job opportunities. Let's see what people in my situations face today...

Sweden at a glance:
  • Unemployment rate: 8.9% (18.4% among people under 25)
  • In needs for: doctors, engineers, IT developers, etc.
  • Too much: administration workers, cleaning people, receptionists, etc.
  • Working 40h / week
  • 25 vacation days / year (allowed to take 4 weeks in the summer)
  •  No national minimum wage but average (2012):
    • ♂ 30600 SEK / month
    • ♀ 26200 SEK / month
  • Municipal taxes                    ≈ 31%
    • 372100 SEK / year          +20%
    • 532700 SEK / year          +25%
  • Typical workplace: flat organizations, team-working, initiatives-driven, informal, gender equality and strong trade unions.

On top of that, one better speaks Swedish as English-speaking jobs are quite rare. Then, actually getting in a company takes some time, sending a CV and a cover letter is just the beginning of a long process. Most of the time, the firm follows-up with a phone/skype interview, (online) cognitive tests, a group-interview, asking to solve a case study, speed-dating interviews with executives, a trial period and so on. In short: finding a job is extremely time consuming and requires a full investment of oneself (in terms of energy and showing off motivation).

Basically, Swedes look for jobs on different other websites such as,,,,,, etc. (you're welcome!) Of course, foreigners also apply for Swedish jobs when they feel like they meet the requirements. Even though they speak the language already, some of them feel discriminated, simply because of their name which does not sound Swedish. This is a national growing trend, yet forbidden by the law.

See for yourself:
- CV name-change leaves foreign student reeling (The Local) 
Bearers of foreign names less likely to find work in Sweden (Zuzeeko's Blog)
- What’s in a name? A field experiment test for the existence of ethnic discrimination in the hiring process (The Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies)
Ethnic discrimination in Swedish labour market (European Working Conditions Observatory)

[edit April 5th]Swedish study confirms foreign name CV bias (The Local)

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