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New report: boom state continues for businesses

9 December 2021
The regional economy is in full swing. The export situation is strong and the outlook for 2022 remains positive. The number of advertised jobs is increasing, unemployment continues to fall, and employment is rising. The hospitality sector and the retail city trade have improved but activity remains below pre-pandemic levels. These are some of the findings of Business Region Göteborg’s fourth Economic Outlook report of 2021. 

The situation is positive within all major sectors in the Gothenburg region: commerce, services, manufacturing and construction. During the quarter the economic tendency was 116.3, the same record-high level as seen in the previous quarter.  

On top of a well performing home market, growth remains strong in the Gothenburg region’s key export markets. In the USA, the region’s largest export market, GDP growth of 5.9% is expected in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022. The Eurozone is expecting 4.9% growth in 2021 and 4.3% in 2022, while in China the economy is expected to grow 8.1% in 2021 and 5.3% in 2022.   

“At the same time there are fears that the global labour shortage, bottlenecks in logistics flows and high energy costs can hamper supply and recovery globally. It’s also possible that new virus variants can impact the global economy,” says Peter Warda, senior analyst at Business Region Göteborg.  

“But the risks to the region's economy are not imminent. There is good reason for optimism,” he adds.  

During the third quarter of 2021, employment continued to increase within both the services and commerce sectors in the Gothenburg region. For example, the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre will recruit 150 people after a tough period, while electric car maker Polestar plans to hire 100 people at its head office in Gothenburg.     

For manufacturing and construction, there is no data available on the regional level, but for Sweden as a whole both sectors have seen an increase in employment and expect to hire more staff looking ahead.  

The number of permanent positions being advertised in the Gothenburg region has risen sharply, with around 8,500 positions advertised per month during the period August to October 2021. This is 92% more than in the same period last year, and approaching the peak levels seen four or five years ago. Most of the positions advertised are within business services, followed by healthcare and care, education and retail.      

Unemployment levels falling 

The unemployment rate continues to decrease in the Gothenburg region. In November the figure was 6.3%, which is relatively low compared with unemployment seen in Sweden as a whole (7.2%), the Stockholm region (6.8%) and the Malmö region (9.6%). 

The biggest decline in unemployment is seen amongst foreign-born residents, as well as youths. For example, in November 2021 unemployment among foreign-born youths in the Gothenburg region was 17.8%, which is 5.3%-points lower than one year earlier.  

“We see that the labour market has recovered well during the autumn. Although a large group remains on the outside and competence matching is a challenge, particularly among the region’s foreign-born residents,” says Peter Warda.    

Hospitality sector approaching more normal levels 

Travel to and from the region is slowly but surely recovering. During the period August to October 2021, Göteborg Landvetter Airport had on average 265,000 passengers per month, which is an increase of 156% year-on-year.  

The region’s hotels, hostels and camping grounds have seen guest nights rise by 71% during the third quarter to around 489,000 guest nights per month. This is more than the average for the period 2008-2019, but a bit below numbers seen during the peak years 2015-2019. Hotel occupancy rates also improved during the third quarter of 2021 to 60%. In comparison the occupancy rate during the same period in 2020 was 37%.  

“The hospitality sector seems to have picked up again, which is great to see, but it still has a way to go before it reaches pre-pandemic levels. The increase in new infections and the new restrictions for larger indoor gatherings sadly means that this hard-hit sector continues to be harshly tested,” says Henrik Einarsson, director of business establishment and investment at Business Region Göteborg.


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Henrik Einarsson, Director of Business Establishment and Investment
+46 31 367 61 27 /


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