According to US News the best country to have citizenship in is Sweden but when considering not only citizenship but also cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, “movers”, open for business, power and quality of life US News rank Sweden 5th in the World, Germany number 1. This is only one report and there are others that give us better ranking overall. Looking at statistics in Sweden since 1980 we always had unemployment, the lowest figure some 1.5% and the highest above 10%. Right now in Sweden the figure is a little above 6%. We are now some 9.7 million people living here and the retirement age are 65. This might change to 66 or 67 years as we are all living longer and that put pressure on the Swedish pension system. We have some 650.000 registered unemployed people looking for a job in Sweden, of that 300.000 people are born outside Sweden according to statistics from Sweden’s Public Employment Agency.
Sweden is a very nice place to live but not the best country in the World according to the World Happiness Report as Denmark took the top spot as the happiest country in the World. Sweden is a good number 2 and Norway number 3 so the Nordic region is a very good place to live and work. Iceland came in at number 5 and Finland on 11th place. Compared to most places in the World, Sweden and the Nordic region are safe and healthy to live and raise a family. Education, healthcare, elderly and child care are very good (in comparison). According to the US News report Canada is the best place to live when considering quality of life and Sweden a good number 2, Denmark 3rd.
The labour market offer good working conditions for most people and social conflicts are rare here unlike in many other European countries. Here in Sweden we do not have legal minimum wage but a highly regulated labour market. Salaries are negotiated by collective negotiation between Trade Unions and Employers and the Trade Unions are very influential here. In total we have some 60 trade unions and at least 50 employers’ organizations. There is not a legal minimum wage but in most collective agreements it is stated what they consider to be a minimum wage in their industrial sector, which is relatively high compared to the rest of Europe. Also working hours are also fixed by collective agreement, although the working week was limited by the Swedish Parliament to 40 hours many companies are now negotiation for 35 working hours per week. Swedish law also guarantees 25 days of paid holiday per year but many companies are negotiating more days in stead of increasing salaries. There are negative tax effects after certain salary levels where many white collar staff prefers more vacation days to higher salary. Many are creating their own consulting businesses; even if they have a fixed position within a Company or Agency, so there are consulting models that can be negotiated with people you are interested in here in Sweden or in the Nordic region.
As the labour market is highly regulated, finding the right people for your business is very important. It is expensive to choose the wrong persons. People and human resources are essential to the success of any business. Without employing the best qualified professionals, you can’t move forward achieving your goals but you have to spend more time with people here then in many other markets. Leaders that both want and can work with people is very important while developing business in the Nordic region.
We here at B-Open Nordic both understand recruitment processes, human resources and employment lifecycle. We can be a resource for recruitment, staffing and business counsel. We can handle any human resource challenges. We can also assist you with executive search and those hard-to-fill vacancies, special experts. Welcome to contact us about establish and managing a business in Sweden or in the Nordic region.