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Uppsala, located north of Stockholm, is the fourth biggest Swedish city. Despite having been around since 1286, Uppsala has quite a young, diverse and dynamic vibe — made possible thanks to its international University which has been attracting students from all over the world since 1477. Currently, one-fifth of Uppsala’s population of 205,199 are people born outside of Sweden (or people with parents born outside of Sweden); there are 51 languages spoken in the city. As a symbolic and historical city, Uppsala provides many professional opportunities to expats — however, its labour market is rather competitive.

Economy and labour market

In general, many of Uppsala's inhabitants prefer to work in Stockholm, especially in the industry sector. However, the city does provide many opportunities in various, both in the public and private sectors. More precisely, one-fifth of Uppsala's active population works in the health, social, sales, construction, hotel, trade and commerce, business and catering sectors. The municipality, the Uppsala County Council and the University of Uppsala are also considered to be the main recruiters in the city.

Many major international companies have a presence in Uppsala, among them Beijer Alma, GE Healthcare, Fresenius Kabi, Phadia and Stora Enso. Because of the city’s location, the competent and diverse workforce, as well as the access to cutting-edge research that its educational institutions provide, more and more international organisations, are choosing Uppsala for a business and conference hub. This may prove very useful to you, as it increases your chances at networking.

 Good to know:

Because of its proximity to Stockholm, Arlanda airport is also one of the main employers for people who live in Uppsala, as the commute time is only 20 minutes.

Job hunting

Everyone speaks English in Uppsala (as well as 50 other languages). Indeed, the local labour market comprises to a big part of English-speaking expats and there is no substantial bias against non-Swedish speakers — so even if you haven’t mastered the language yet, you should be fine.

If you are not yet in Uppsala, 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. If you’re an EU national, then the EURES database and programme is also at your disposal.

 Good to know:

In the last few years, many sectors in Uppsala have been experiencing a lack of manpower. You may thus try your luck in the following sectors:

  • health care (doctors, nurses, specialized midwives, nursing assistants)
  • information and communication technology
  • social services
  • automotive and truck mechanics
  • construction and CNC machine operators
  • engineering
  • catering
  • accounting
  • sales
  • shopping
  • teaching (pre-primary, secondary, vocational, specialized child care, etc).

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 16,000-20,000 SEK monthly, whereas jobs that require Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees like engineering, for instance, can pay even up to 50,000 SEK monthly. If you’re doing your PhD, salaries range between 29,000-34,000 SEK monthly.

The cost of living in Uppsala is lower than its neighbouring Stockholm, although things, like dining out and going for a drink, will still be quite pricey.

 Good to know:

You should be aware that any salary amount quoted to you 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:

Uppsala City: Business
Career Builder
Blocket: Jobb
Jobb Safari
Metro Jobb
Start-up Jobs

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