The development of the Swedish Public Employment Service and active labour market policies?

Dnr: 128/2020

This project describes the development of the Swedish Public Employment Service before and during the Corona crisis. It covers external conditions and constraints, internal decisions taken by the PES, as well as the actual development of PES offices, case workers, policy measures and registered unemployed job seekers. The analyses are based on register data from the PES available with a relatively short time lag.

The PES has changed substantially during recent years and so has the conditions and constraints, such as funding and tasks, to which it is subjected. Using buzz words, these changes can be labelled “journey of change”, digitalisation, budget cuts, and privatisation. Together with the Corona crisis, this has posed unique challenges to the PES. While the development has been at the centre of the Swedish public policy discussion, there is no thorough description of what has actually happened at the PES. How many PES offices have been closed down and how many case workers have been sacked or have quit? Who are the case workers still working in the PES? How has the use of different policy measures evolved? What has this development been like in different regions and for unemployed job seekers with different characteristics? Do we see differences between regions with and without pilot programmes with a private provision of services?