In order to ensure a continued competitive supply of skills and competence, considerable challenges need to be dealt with. This is the reason why SNS has initiated the research project Future Supply of Skills: The Swedish Labour Market in a Globalised World.

Changing requirements for skills

There is a demand from employers for a better educated and more experienced workforce. There are considerable matching problems on the Swedish labour market. Employers experience a lack of workers with the right skills – despite a large number of job seekers, an extension of the higher education system, and an increased number of people with a tertiary education.


The population is growing older. In order to be able to pay for a longer life in retirement, an increase in the number of hours worked in the economy is needed. What does this mean for the entry of young people into the labour market and the exit of older people? What adjustments are needed in working life? The conclusions from the SNS workshop series Innovations for a Longer Working Life, which took place in 2014 with the support of Vinnova, are incorporated in the project.

Technological development

Both technological development and globalisation contribute to the emergence of new industries and a change in the regional distribution of work places. Certain jobs emerge and others disappear and there is a demand for new skills.

Tools for employers

The objectives of the subprojects of the project are to give employers increased knowledge while offering suggested policy reforms in different areas. The initial discussion of the reference group will serve as a guideline for the design of the program. Possible questions:

  • How does technological development affect the labour market?
  • Does the state control of the supply of open slots at universities and university colleges need to be reinforced?
  • How should educational and outplacement agents interact with employers when it comes to on-the-job training, further education and retraining?
  • What role can the industry play when it comes to facilitating the entry of young people on the labour market and improving the integration of immigrants on the labour market?
  • What needs to be done to increase the attractiveness of Sweden on the international labour market?


The impact of globalization on the Swedish labor market

In recent decades, the Swedish economy has been globalized at a rapid pace. A large proportion of production is exported, and more inputs and consumption are being imported. Specialization has also increased. With Swedish register data, the authors examine how this development has affected companies and the demand for different skills. The report also studies the impact of globalization on matching and wage dispersion in the Swedish labour market. Ultimately, the authors write about the relationship between globalization and digitalization and how new technologies affect companies and the workforce.

Researchers: Fredrik Heyman, Associate Professor in Economics, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, and Fredrik Sjöholm Professor in Economics, Lund University. Publication planned for May 2018.

The organisational conditions for managers in the public sector

Managers in the public sector are key players when it comes to creating healthy and productive public organisations. Nevertheless current trends indicate we are moving towards a working environment in which managers are encompassed by organisational change, financial cutbacks and shifting psychosocial working conditions. The report describes empirical studies of managers’ workloads, the balance between demands and resources in managerial work and the supporting organisational structures for managers. It also addresses the consequences of organisational conditions on managers’ performance, health, motivation and turnover. The authors present potential policy proposals emerging from the research results.

Researchers: Linda Corin, PhD in Work Science, and Lisa Björk, PhD in Work Science, Västra Götalands Region

Digital Tools in Education. On Usage, Effects and the Role of the Teacher

Information and communication technologies (ICT) in schools is high on the agenda for stakeholders in both politics and academia. This report describes empirical studies on the impact of digital learning materials in primary, secondary and adult education (excluding higher education) in the Netherlands. The report discusses the policy implications of the research results for Sweden.
Researcher: Carla Haelermans, Researchers in Economics, Maastricht University.

SNS Analys 39: Immigration and the Native Labor Market – Experiences from Denmark

The study analyzes the mobility of native workers’ mobility, wages and employment in response to the influx of refugees to Denmark 1995–2003.
Researcher: Mette Foged, PhD in Economics, University of Copenhagen

Choosing education. Implications for the individual and society.

The educational system is central for the supply of human capital in society. In this report, three themes related to educational choices and career are analyzed and discussed, based on current economics research: Study advice, the curriculum at upper secondary school, and adults in formal education.
Researcher: Anders Stenberg, Associate Professor in Economics, Stockholm University.

SNS Analys 36: Talent Management in Swedish organizations

This study provides an overview of how talent management is used in Sweden. It is based on 56 interviews with HR executives and other senior managers in 30 organizations from both private and public sectors.
Researchers: Kajsa Asplund, Ph.D. student of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics, and Pernilla Bolander, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics.

SNS Analys 34: Nordic family policy and gender equality in the labor market

This study presents the empirical economic research on how family policy affected the equality developments in the Nordic countries’ labor markets, and the role it may have to tackle today’s challenges.
Researchers: Julian Vedeler Johnsen, Ph.D. in Economics, University of Bergen, and Katrine Vellesen Løken, Professor of Economics, University of Bergen.

SNS Analys 33: Regional Inequality in Sweden. A Historical Analysis

Regional gaps in Sweden have increased since 1980. This development involves political challenges. Major regional inequalities threaten the cohesion of society and can reduce the legitimacy of the municipal redistribution system. The publication sets out the past 30 years of increasing regional differences in historical terms.
Researcher: Kerstin Enflo, Associate Professor of Economic History, Lund University.

SNS Analys 32: Working Robots

Despite all the discussions about the possible consequences of automation, there are almost no systematic analysis of the economic effects of robots. In this study, the authors examine the impact of the increasing use of robots in industry have had on productivity and employment.
Researchers: Georg Graetz, Researcher in Economics, Uppsala University, and affiliated to till London School of Economics, and Guy Michaels, Researcher in Economics, London School of Economics.

Between Jobs: Job Security Agreements and Support to Dismissed Employees in Sweden

In this book, the job security agreements, the job security councils that supply the support, and their role on the Swedish labour market are described and analysed. Focus is on case studies of five job security councils.

SNS Analys 28. Technological Development and Job Polarisation.

Studies in several OECD countries show that there has been an increase in the share of high-wage jobs and low-wage jobs in relation to jobs with more average wages in the last few decades. The report describes theories that explain this pattern. One possible reason is increased digitalisation. Furthermore, there is an analysis of the relationship between technological development and job polarisation on the Swedish labour market since 1975.

SNS Analys 25. Youth unemployment cannot be solved by retirement of current employees

A larger number of elderly people on the labour market does not constitute any threat to the ability of young people finding jobs. An increase in the number of people who want to and can work leads to the creation of more jobs. Thus, youth unemployment is not affected by a higher retirement age. This is the conclusion in an SNS analysis by Anders Forslund, Professor of Economics at Uppsala University.


13/10 2017: Do digital tools contribute to better school results?
30/5 2017: What role do skills play in global value chains?
3/4 2017: Lifelong learning – what is the role of universities?

23/9/2016: High School for all – how will it look like?
7/9/2016: How can it be easier to make good educational choices?
25/5/2016: Strategies for Talent Management – What says research?
8/3/2016: International Women’s Day at SNS: What family policies favors woman career?
4/2/2016: Workshop: How can we study the effects of digital learning materials?
22/1/2016: The new regional alienation

8/12/2015: Vocational training for work – how do we improve matching?
2/12/2015: What can be done for NEETs – young people who neither work nor study?
3/11/2015: A healthier working life – how can we reduce absence due to illness?
1/10/2015: Between Jobs – how do the conversion agreements work?
3/9/2015: Validation of skills of newcomers
30/6/2015: The role of the education system for a sustainable competence provision
26/3/2015: The effects of digitization on the labor market
13/2/2015: How do we get a longer working life?

Facts about the project

Funding and reference group

The reference group consists of The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Academic Work, The Swedish Employment Agency, University West, the Department of Finance, The KK-Foundation, KPMG, Intendia Group (Anthon B Nilsen Utbildning AB), Ledarna, Lernia, NCC, The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, SALAR Stockholm County Council, Södra skogsägarna, The Swedish National Audit Office, Vattenfall, and the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education.


Mikael Witterblad, Research Director at SNS

Johanna Öqvist, Project Manager at SNS


The programme started in 2015 and ended in 2018.