Gothenburg's harbour
2 September 2019

Facts & Figures 2019: Growth and labour market

The business environment in the Gothenburg region is characterised by global, knowledge-intensive manufacturing companies. The total wage sum is growing faster here than in other Swedish metropolitan regions and Sweden as a whole. The greatest growth is seen in the construction and services sectors. Here we provide short extracts from this year's edition of Facts & Figures.  

Overall, employment in the region is growing at a faster rate than the national average. A rapidly expanding knowledge-intensive business services sector supports the manufacturing companies, and the region’s business environment is gaining further nuance through growing businesses in information and communication, hotels and restaurants, construction and real estate. 


The Gothenburg region – a Swedish growth engine 

In 2018, total wage sum in the Gothenburg region grew by 4 per cent in real terms. The Gothenburg region experienced a higher rate of real growth in total wage sum than Sweden as a whole, which increased by 2.9 per cent. 

The average annual growth in total wage sum in the Gothenburg region during the period 2000–2018 was 3.5 per cent. In terms of individual sectors, the largest growth has been seen in the construction sector, followed by the services sector. The construction sector has many major development projects in the region during the coming years. In addition, the highly refined services offered by various companies and a growing public sector are contributing more and more to the region’s economy.


Care and healthcare sector the largest employer 

Care and healthcare is the sector with the most employees in the Gothenburg region, followed by business services, which has experienced strong employment growth in recent years. Compared to Sweden as a whole, the Gothenburg region has a larger share of employees in business services, commerce, manufacturing, transportation, and information and communication. However, compared to Sweden as a whole, the Gothenburg region has a smaller proportion of employees in care and healthcare, public administration, education, construction, and finance and insurance.


The number of employees is growing faster than Sweden as a whole

In 2017, more than 530,000 people were working in the Gothenburg region. This represents an increase of 33 per cent since the year 2000, or 132,000 people.

All sectors in the Gothenburg region have seen an increase in the number of employees following the financial crisis in 2008. Swedish manufacturing and mining has experienced negative growth, while the Gothenburg region’s manufacturing and mining industry is heading in the other direction. Much of this development is explained by the fact that the Gothenburg region’s knowledge-intensive manufacturing industry has made very strong progress in recent years. However, business services has experienced the most growth in the Gothenburg region, followed by information and communication. Compared to Sweden as a whole, the Gothenburg region has clearly experienced more growth in employment within information and communication, manufacturing, business services and construction. 


Lowest unemployment among metropolitan regions 

In 2007, both the Gothenburg region and Sweden as a whole reported largely similar unemployment. The positive development seen in employment in the Gothenburg region from the year 2010 onwards has resulted in a continued fall in unemployment. Unemployment in the Gothenburg region averaged 5.6 per cent in 2018, the lowest among the country’s metropolitan regions, and some 1.5 percentage points lower than the national average.


Facts & Figures is an annual publication from Business Region Göteborg, which consists of facts frequently requested by investors. Access the report here: Facts & Figures 2019


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