Sweden’s got a major supply and demand problem.
Its fabled welfare state is forecast to need an extra 208,000 employees by 2025 just to keep up with growing demand. Trouble is, only 207,000 workers are projected to join the country’s entire labor force (comprising both the private and public sector) over the same period.
The mismatch is one of the biggest headaches facing Sweden’s next government. Past precedents don’t bode well. The workforce rose by 488,000 between 2007 and 2017, with less than a third of that increase absorbed by the public sector.
Local authorities recruiting 208,000 workers is “not a credible scenario,” said Annika Wallenskog, chief economist at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. The real risk is that the public and private sectors end up competing for the same workers, she said.