SNS Economic Policy Council Report 2017. Policies for an Inclusive Swedish Labor Market

Oskar Nordström Skans Stefan Eriksson Lena Hensvik


Policies for an Inclusive Swedish Labor Market (Podcast in Swedish)

Swedish labor market performance is remarkably strong in most dimensions. However, labor market outcomes have become increasingly polarized between a successful majority and marginal groups, who find it increasingly difficult to find employment.

summary-kr-2017_final.pdf 263.5 KB PDF

The 2017 report from the SNS Economic Policy Council presents a number of stylized facts regarding the state of the Swedish labor market and proposes reforms to increase its performance even further. We discuss relevant reform strategies and present three in-depth chapters on the labor market situations – and the need for reforms – for low-skilled youths, older unemployed, and recent refugees, respectively.

Low-performing youths, older unemployed, and migrants from refugee countries make up a large and increasing share of the unemployed. One of the greatest challenges for the Swedish society in the coming years is to find well-targeted labor market reforms in order to make it inclusive enough for these low-skilled workers to find employment.

About the authors

Oskar Nordström Skans (chairman), Professor of Economics, Uppsala University. He is responsible for research on the functioning of the labor market at the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU). He is also a member of the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council.
Stefan Eriksson, Associate Professor of Economics , Uppsala University.
Lena Hensvik, Associate Professor, the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), and Research Fellow, the Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Uppsala University.


The report was launched and presented on January 25, 2017 in Stockholm. Both Minister for Employment Ylva Johansson and Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson commented at two seminars respectively. Minister Andersson made the following comment:

“It is a very solid and interesting report with many concrete recommendations. Among other things, they suggest that the subsidies for people furthest away from the labor market should be simplified and directed toward those that are struggling the most. That is an interesting question to investigate further.”

The report has also been presented at SNS local chapters during the spring.
It received widespread media coverage with around 140 mentions. Read the authors’ op-ed piece i Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish).

SNS Economic Policy Council

The SNS Economic Policy Council was initiated 1974 and has since then brought together leading economists to write an annual report with independent recommendations for economic policy. The research provides a balanced view of economic policy and its conflicting goals. The focus of the Economic Council is long-term structural analysis.

SNS Economic Policy Council Report 2017 was presented January 25 at SNS. Since then the report has been presented at SNS local chapters and received widespread media coverage.