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Gothenburg’s economy stronger than it was pre-pandemic

24 September 2021
After a fast recovery, the Gothenburg region is now experiencing an economic boom. Key export markets continue to grow, employment is increasing, job vacancies are on the rise and unemployment continues to fall, shows Business Region Göteborg's third Economic Outlook report of 2021. 

The National Institute of Economic Research's survey for Q2 of 2021 shows that the situation for businesses in the Gothenburg region has improved further. The economic tendency for the quarter was 116.4 (+9 points). This indicates a boom, and at a level higher than all tendency scores posted throughout the period 2013-2018.

GDP growth forecasts for key markets remain as strong as those made in the spring. USA, Gothenburg’s largest export market, is expecting its economy to grow by 6.3 per cent this year. In China, the economy is expected to grow by 8.4 per cent and in the Euro-zone by 4.7 per cent. Meanwhile, GDP forecasts for the region's ten largest export markets combined (weighted for share of the region’s exports) suggest 5 per cent growth this year and 4.1 per cent in 2022.

“A strong situation has developed in our most important markets, which can benefit Gothenburg’s export-intensive business environment. Nearly 80 per cent of the region’s exports go to these countries,” says Peter Warda, senior analyst at Business Region Göteborg.

Boom activity and increased job growth within commerce and services

The region’s commerce sector has continued to recover significantly and is experiencing a clear boom. The services sector has also improved and the tendency indicator for Q2 also suggests a boom. Sales have risen sharply in both sectors, and profitability has improved, particularly within the services sector. Job growth has increased sharply both within services and commerce and looking ahead employment is expected to increase.

In both manufacturing and construction, the number of employees increased significantly in Sweden in the second quarter. Companies expect that this trend will continue. Among the employers in Gothenburg expecting to hire are Volvo Trucks, which plans to employ 300 people at its truck factory; Volvo Cars, which plans to hire around 100 people within knowledge-intensive services, and IT consultancy company Alten, which plans to hire around 50 staff.

“We see the that the business environment is performing well, and more and more companies are hiring. At the same time, we see that industries that downsized during the pandemic crisis, in some cases are having difficulties to attract back labour, which can affect job growth negatively and hamper the recovery in some places,” says Henrik Einarsson, director of establishment and investment services at Business Region Göteborg.   

The rapid turnaround in the region’s business environment is also noticeable in the region’s wage sum. During the second quarter of 2021, the real total wage sum in the Gothenburg region increased by 4.8 per cent compared with the same period the year before. In real SEK, the increase corresponded to just over SEK 2.7 billion. The region's companies accounted for just over 83 per cent of this growth.

Unemployment under 7 per cent in the Gothenburg region

In the last six months, unemployment has decreased, and all three Swedish metropolitan regions seem to be in a good period of recovery. In August 2021, the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent in the Gothenburg region (-1.6%-points on an annual basis). In the Stockholm region, unemployment was 7.5 per cent (-1.4%-points on an annual basis) and in the Malmö region 10.3 per cent (-1.8%-points on an annual basis). Unemployment in Sweden remains at 7.7 per cent (-1.4%-points on an annual basis).

During the period June to August 2021, an average of just over 6,500 newly registered vacancies for permanent positions were advertised per month in the Gothenburg region. This is 97 per cent more than in the same period a year before. Most of these new jobs are advertised within business services, followed by health care and care sector, education, and information and communication.

Economic Outlook is a quarterly report that provides a summarised view of the economic situation in Gothenburg in comparison to other Swedish metropolitan regions. The report presents many up-to-date performance indicators for trade and industry, including those linked to the labour market.



Henrik Einarsson, Director of establishment and investment services at Business Region Göteborg  
Phone: 031-367 61 27  


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