In 2023 the Swedish unemployment rate was slightly higher than the EU average. Even though it has come down since the financial crisis, it still remains high in certain segments of the population.

To facilitate international comparisons, The International Labour Organization (ILO) has constructed an international standard for measuring unemployment.

The definition of an unemployed person is someone who

  • does not currently hold an employment,
  • is free take up an employment within 14 days’ time,
  • has been actively looking for a job for the past 4 weeks or
  • is about to take up an employment within three months.

The labour force is considered to be made up of all people between 15-74 years of age who are either employed or unemployed. Students are excluded if they are not prepared to take up employment or already actively looking for a job.

In an international comparison, Sweden’s unemployment rate came in slightly above the EU average in 2023 (1,7 percentage points). It varies significantly among different segments of the labour force. For instance, the unemployment rate is much higher among people with a low education level.