Unemployment insurance

Last updated: 21 9 2018

This material is from the book About Sweden.

About half of all people in Sweden have a job that pays a wage. The unemployment rate is about 6.5 per cent. Unemployment among young people aged 15–24 is higher, at about 16.4 per cent.

Sweden has unemployment insurance that protects people who lose their jobs. This allows unemployed people to have an income while they are looking for work. You can be a member of an unemployment insurance fund ('a-kassa'), which is an economic association that pays out money to its unemployed members. As a member of an unemployment insurance fund you have to pay a membership fee each month.

Conditions for receiving unemployment insurance payments

If you have been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least one year and have worked for defined minimum amount of time during at least six months of that year, you are entitled to receive compensation calculated on the basis of your previous salary. The maximum period during which you can receive compensation is 300 days, or 450 days if you have children under the age of 18. You will receive a maximum of 80 per cent of your previous salary during the first 200 days. After that the maximum compensation drops to 70 per cent of your previous salary. The maximum daily compensation you can receive during the first 100 days is SEK 910. From the 101st day until the 300th day you can receive a maximum of SEK 760 per day.

You are only eligible for unemployment insurance payments during a limited period of time, and you have to be actively looking for a new job during this period. Your unemployment insurance fund determines what compensation you are eligible for.

If you are not a member of an unemployment insurance fund and do not want to become a member, you can apply for unemployment benefits from Alfa-kassan. Compensation from Alfa-kassan is a basic amount of SEK 320 per day.

The base amount is the benefit you receive if you are not a member of an unemployment insurance fund or if you have been a member only for a short time. The base amount is paid out to unemployed people aged 20 and over. You can receive the base amount from an unemployment insurance fund or from the supplementary unemployment insurance fund, the Alfa Fund (a-kassan).