Swedish model economy – maintaining stability through reform

The high officials in Sweden predict the decrease in percentage unemployment rate of 5.9% in the next year which is lower than the forecast from the beginning of the year. They also predict that the unemployment rate will remain about the same in the following years and that the unemployment will keep going down. Sweden‘s Public Employment service in Stockholm in 2017. in July announced the unemployment rate of 7.3 %, which is a sign of positive economic growth and stable Sweden‘s economy in 2017. However, Swedish Trade Union Confederation encourages more investment in welfare and greater share of wealth for the employees, as well as higher taxes on child support and capital.

Introduction programme for immigrants

There is a significant disparity between the people born abroad and within the country and the statistics show a record number of foreigners registered at the Swedish Public Employment Service. Unemployment among Swedish born is 3.9%, while the unemployment rate among the foreigners is 21.8%. Immigrants in Sweden are presented with the Introduction programme that‘s adapted to each newcomer according to his/her education and experience in order for them to integrate into the Swedish labor market more easily. The problem is that many of them don‘t have the proper education for the vacancies offered on the job market, and many of them refuse to accept further education during the Introduction programme, so the government must come up with a functional plan how to motivate those people to learn the language, get jobs, and become rightful members of Swedish society. Since the number of immigrants is constantly on the rise, the government will need more money to invest in their integration.

Crime in Sweden

Crime in Sweden has reached an alarming level this year. The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention draws attention to the disturbing percentages – 15.65% suffered one or more offenses like assaults, sexual offenses, threats, harassments, frauds etc, which is more than 2 percent than recorded in 2015. From 2005-2014. the number of offenses was at a relatively stable level, but there is a considerable increase in the last two years. The most vulnerable group present women aged 16 – 24, subjected to sexual offenses, and this percentage is on the rise! Sadly, fewer than half of the crimes have been reported to the police, especially threats, harassments and sexual offenses, while the most frequent reports are burglaries.

Swedish economy in 2017.

Sweden is announced as the number one country on the Forbes‘ list of the best countries for business. For example, ten years ago it was in the 17th place, but in the meantime, it improved its economy with countless initiatives. Due to deregulation and budget self-restraint, the country has undergone a deep transformation, so that it has become one of the most desirable countries to do business with! At the moment, it is a home of well-known, world famous brands such as IKEA, H&M, Ericsson, Volvo etc. Being constantly on the rise with their tech innovation.

Sweden‘s known for good reputation

Sweden succeeded to decrease its deficit in 2015. and thus reached the 22nd position on the Global competitive index scale. In addition, high employment rate, as well as high level of women‘s presence on the labor market is an important indicator of Swedish economic growth. The number of female managers, officials, and legislators has considerably increased in the last years, so this way they underline the importance of gender equality. Also, there is a low level of corruption that puts Sweden on one of the highest places of transparency, and alongside with Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, and Germany, it has been considered as one of the top innovation leaders in Europe.

Other Sweden‘s strengths are the quality life of the elderly population, high education, safety, and civic freedom with a very low old-age poverty rate. Also, Swedes are fluent in English along with Danes and Dutch, being constantly exposed to English through non-dubbed English media. And finally, Sweden is a perfect home for families with 16 months of parental leave, investment in green living, economic strength and safety.

Sweden must solve the emerging issues

Despite the stable growth, positive forecast unemployment rate, high living standards and high GDP in Sweden, there are rising new challenges that will require instant and smart actions. The current government’s top priorities, at the moment, are absorbing the increasing number of low-skilled workers, increasing the rise of income, integration of immigrants, housing market reform and promotion of gender equality. Although it has been outpacing the major advanced economies with low unemployment, good social protection and easily adapting to the fast-changing world economy, Sweden is facing new challenges and ti has to invest additional efforts if it wants to protect the welfare model, as well as the vulnerable groups of people. Since the housing prices have gone up in the recent years, the household debt has increased as well, and this situation negatively affects the labor mobility, as well as inequality. The government has to limit the household debt, reform the tax system, align it with property values and encourage better cooperation between the central and local government in land-using procedures and planning.

Also, since the 90s, there has been a growing income inequality, so they have to work better on annual analysis and revision scenarios to raise awareness of the consequences of inaction and take into consideration equity, work incentives, and fiscal cost. Also, the rising number of immigrants rises new challenges. For example, they should find a way how to simplify the procedures, so that the immigrants get better opportunities to receive work and residence permissions and ensure better employment without aggravating the inequality. For example, women immigrants are especially vulnerable since their participation in the labor market is very low, so they should come up with more active measures concerning labor market policy. Also, with proper simplification and consolidation, more uneducated people will find a way to the labor market. All these interventions will cause an increased economic activity and Swedish economy will remain flourishing!