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Sweden's second biggest city after Stockholm, and one of the largest in all of Scandinavia. Located in Västra Götaland County, Gothenburg has a population of 581,822 in the city centre, with more than 1 million people living in the broader municipal area. Founded in 1621, Gothenburg is famous for its port — which is the biggest port in the Nordic region. Gothenburg attracts many expats with its sustainable, open and multicultural character: currently, 23% of the people living in Gothenburg were born outside of Sweden. It’s also a growing city, so you should have no problem finding work as an expat. 

Economy and labour market

Gothenburg's economy is mainly based on trade and shipping due to the fact that it’s a port city located in the heart of Scandinavia. Other dynamic pillars, such as automotive construction (Volvo Cars, SKF, Ericsson, etc.), high technologies, banks and finance, events and tourism also make a significant contribution to Gothenburg’s economy. Note that the city hosts many major Scandinavian cinema, music and sports events and festivals every year.

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Thanks to the presence of its two universities, Gothenburg is known to be a student city besides being the famous cradle of the carmaker Volvo. It also hosts a huge sports complex.

Despite its dense population, Gothenburg has a robust economy and the lowest unemployment rate in all of Sweden (5,5% in 2017) so it’s considered a great choice for expats.

Job hunting

You are likely to be hired in Gothenburg even if you don't speak Swedish. Indeed, the local labour market is open towards English-speaking expatriates. But in all cases, recruiters tend to prefer Swedish-speaking candidates. Hence, learning the language can be a considerable advantage.

If you are not yet in Gothenburg, feel free to start your job search on the Internet. Start by visiting the Arbetsförmedlingen website, which is the Swedish Public Employment Service and remains until today the website with the most visibility when it comes to job search. If you are already in the city, consider dropping by an Arbetsförmedlingen agency where they will provide you with relevant assistance, including programs intended for job seekers.

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If you’re an EU national, then the EURES database and programme is also at your disposal.

Wages & cost of living

Each field is different, as wages are negotiated by employers and employee unions, and your salary will depend on your position and qualifications. For example, a job at the service or cleaning industry can offer around 16,000-25,000 SEK monthly, whereas jobs that require Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees like engineering, for instance, can pay even up to 35,000 SEK monthly. The cost of living is not as high as in Stockholm, so it should be manageable.

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You should be aware though that any salary amount quoted is before taxes. Taxation in Sweden happens at the base, which means the amount you’ll have to pay for taxes will be deducted from your salary every month. So before you make any decisions, it would be wise to calculate how much money you’ll actually be left with after taxes. The Statsskuld website has a calculator for you to do exactly that.

 Useful links:

Gothenburg city job portal
Career Builder
Blocket: Jobb
Jobb Safari
Monster
Metro Jobb
Stepstone
Start-up Jobs

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