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Sweden – Staffing market up 18% in 2011

02 April 2012

The number of agency temporary workers in Sweden increased by +21,000 in 2011 to 139,000 a rise of 18% from 2010 according to a survey from the Swedish Staffing Association (Bemanningsforetagen). Amongst the 139,000 workers are “permanent” employees, projects that extend over the entire year, as well as students who work extra in the evenings, holidays and weekends. The figure means that the overall penetration rate in Sweden (proportion of agency workers compared to the total workforce) was 1.4% in 2011, an increase of 0.1% over the previous year.

According to Henrik Bäckström, director of the association, the figures reflect that temporary agencies are become increasingly important as a “helping hand” for Swedish companies. The “clear trend is that they are now seen as long-term skills providers rather than short-term understudies. It is not unreasonable to believe that the Swedish staffing industry may soon catch up with countries where temporary work is a more established part of the labour market”.

The survey valued the market at SEK 23.4 billion (€2.65 billion), an increase of SEK4.7 billion (€531 million) from 2010. The Swedish Staffing Association has 431 members companies (64% of whom took part in the survey), of which 85% are fully licensed and the remainder of which are startups.

Despite the positive trend in 2011, this report comes after a recent survey by Bemanningsforetagen showing that about a quarter of staffing agencies expect to reduce their staff in the coming three months as demand has dropped by -60%. And over 66% of companies in February reported that their business has worsened in the last three months.

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