A combination of statistics provides a better picture of developments on the labour market

Economic Commentaries, News Statistics Sweden’s Labour Force Surveys (LFS) are the official measure for unemployment and employment in Sweden. But there are also register-based statistics that can be used to refine and complement the picture of developments on the labour market.

How the labour market develops is important for monetary policy. There are several statistical sources that can be used to measure the development of unemployment and employment in Sweden. In LFS, data is collected via telephone interviews while the statistics from the Swedish Public Employment Service (PES) are based on the authority’s register of unemployed persons.

The Economic Commentary “Developments on the labour market according to different statistical sources” describes the differences and similarities between register-based and interview-based labour market statistics, what the development of unemployment and employment looks like according to these and what these statistical sources are used for.

The definitions of employment and unemployment differ between LFS and the register-based statistics. Despite this, the different statistical sources show a similar development for total employment and unemployment. But regarding different groups in society, especially young people and foreign-born persons, the development varies depending on the statistical source used. According to LFS, unemployment among young people is higher than it is in the PES statistics. Regarding unemployment among foreign-born persons, the converse is true – it is lower in LFS than it is in the PES statistics.


By Iida Häkkinen Skans, who works at the Monetary Policy Department of the Riksbank.

Updated 27/09/2019
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