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Sweden – Staffing revenue drops marginally in first quarter

23 May 2012

Staffing revenue in Sweden dropped by -1% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012, the Swedish Association of staffing agencies (Bemanningsföretagen) reported this week. Total staffing revenue amounted to €645 million (SEK 4.9 billion), of which temporary staffing makes up 93% of sales.

A spokesperson at Bemanningsföretagen told Staffing Industry Analysts that the labour market in the quarter was marked by increased redundancies while client companies seem to have become more reluctant to hire. He also said that outplacement in the first quarter was up and commented that the recent research indicates the Swedish staffing market is “stable”.

Sectors that saw a sharp slowdown in the quarter include both the healthcare and the construction industry, where jobs decreased by -29% and -26% respectively. But hiring was up in the IT sector by +28% and demand for warehouse workers also rose by +12%. However, in the industry and manufacturing sector hiring dropped by -2%.

“After a recession industrial jobs tend to increase in a first phase. In a second phase, civil service and academic jobs increase. In the third phase hiring will increase in the public sector. We are in the second phase now,” comments the director of the association, Henrik Bäckström.

In the first quarter, Central Sweden saw growth of +7% while in Western Sweden the growth rate was up by +3%. But the capital Stockholm, which accounts for a third of total staffing revenue, saw turnover decline by -3% when compared to a year ago. 

The Staffing Indicator is the Swedish Staffing Agencies’ regular quarterly index for turnover trends among member companies. The Staffing Indicator Summary provides a quick overview of the industry's development every quarter.

The Swedish staffing market is one of the most consolidated in Europe, according to research by Staffing Industry Analysts. By contrast with the German or British markets, where the top three firms own about 20% of market share, in Sweden the top three companies account for almost 50%.

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