Arbetsförmedlingen is the Swedish Public Employment Service. Our job is to match those who are looking for employees with those who are looking for work as efficiently as possible.
We contribute to increased employment
Fundamentally, our assignment is about contributing to a well-functioning labour market. An important task for us is also proving those who find it difficult to enter the labour market with the right tools. In this way, we contribute to preventing exclusion and to increased employment.
Our assignment also includes checking that employers who receive individual recruitment incentives comply with the regulations. We also ensure that those who are registered as unemployed comply with the regulations so that they can receive the right support from the unemployment insurance fund and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, among others.
We help jobseekers and employers to find each other
We are available to our customers wherever they are – online, by phone, chat and video meetings, as well as at service offices all over the country. All our services are free of charge.
We work on behalf of parliament and government
The Government gives us assignments, both ongoing and via appropriation directions. Appropriation directions are the decisions issued by the Government each year in order to regulate the activities of a government agency.
Here are some examples of activities the Government has decided that we are to carry out.
We have responsibility for coordinating the establishment in the labour market of certain new immigrants. We are to provide new immigrants with the conditions that allow them to learn Swedish, find a job and support themselves as quickly as possible. Part of this work involves identifying those new immigrants who do not have the knowledge required by the labour market and ensuring that they focus primarily on education and training. We are also to offer skills assessments for asylum seekers in order to speed up their establishment if they are granted a Swedish residence permit.
Organisations that contributes to faster pathways into the labour market for new immigrants is able to apply for subsidies for this.
The Employability Rehabilitation Programme is an activity we run in partnership with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. The goal is for more people with a reduced working capacity due to disability or ill health to be able to return to work. We make it easier to enter the labour market by harnessing and developing the jobseeker’s resources and skills.
Despite many employers having difficulty finding staff, the unemployment rate is high among people with disabilities. We need to change this. The employment rate among people with disabilities shall increase and unemployment shall decrease. The Government’s national objective for its disability policy is to achieve equality in living conditions and full
participation for people with disabilities in a society founded on diversity. This objective is based on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) is tasked with reducing long-term unemployment. We do this by strengthening support for people experiencing long-term unemployment, especially in socioeconomically vulnerable areas. This task is underway until 2026.
Our assignment includes facilitating the free movement of labour and employers’ opportunities to recruit from within the EU/EEA and Switzerland. This is based on Sweden’s EU membership and is achieved through the EURES cooperation. Arbetsförmedlingen is also involved in other partnerships within the EU and internationally.
Arbetsförmedlingen is a civil contingencies agency
With effect from 1 October 2022, Arbetsförmedlingen is now a civil contingencies agency. This means that we are responsible for activities that are important to maintain in times of crisis, heightened readiness or ultimately war. A civil contingencies agency must be able to withstand threats and risks, prevent vulnerabilities, manage crisis situations in peacetime and perform its duties in times of heightened readiness. A civil contingencies agency must also work to ensure that other government agencies, local authorities, regions and other stakeholders develop their readiness for response. There are in total 60 civil contingencies agencies, divided into 10 sectors. Arbetsförmedlingen is part of the Economic Security sector, for which the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) has sector responsibility. The sector must ensure the function of society’s outgoing payments, such as unemployment insurance, child benefit, parental allowance, sickness benefit and pensions.
The majority of our services can now be managed digitally. The purpose of digitalisation is to make it easier for our customers to get in contact with us, manage and gain more control over their cases.
Other specific assignments
Arbetsförmedlingen works, among other things, with specific assignments of the Government. Two of these specific assignments include the ongoing work around the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2023 and the assignment in connection with the national strategy for preventing and combating men's violence against women.
Sweden holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January to 30 June 2023. For Arbetsförmedlingen, the EU Presidency will mean meetings and activities on its own behalf and in collaboration with other government agencies. Among other things, Arbetsförmedlingen will act as host of the PES Network Board Meeting, which takes place in June 2023. Managers and experts at the agency are also expected to participate in a number of formal and informal meetings.
The Swedish Government has presented four priorities for the presidency:
- Security – unity
- Resilience – competitiveness
- Prosperity – green and energy transitions
- Democratic values and the rule of law – our foundation.
For Arbetsförmedlingen, it is primarily the priorities Resilience – competitiveness and Prosperity – green and energy transitions that will guide our work during the EU Presidency. Arbetsförmedlingen’s tasks during the Swedish Presidency will be permeated by objectives consistent with the provision of skills and lifelong learning, sustainability and innovation.
Arbetsförmedlingen works actively with gender equality and strives for men and women to have equal access to our services. By mainstreaming gender equality and integrating measures to detect violence, we are working towards our operational goals.
In 2019, the Swedish Government gave Arbetsförmedlingen and four other authorities an assignment as a part of the national strategy for preventing and combating men's violence against women.
We were instructed to develop collaboration on:
- routines and methods for detecting violence as well as for referrals to the competent authority;
- enhancing support to customer-facing staff members;
- supporting management and leadership to ensure the work with increased detection of violence will be sustainable and integrated into the authorities' regular operations.
Within the framework of the mission for increased detection of violence, we train our staff to see indications of exposure to violence. Up until 2022, 80 per cent of our staff have been trained in violence detection as well as respective routines and methods. In 2022, Arbetsförmedlingen received the Swedish Gender Equality Award for our systematic and innovative way to integrate gender equality into our regular services.