Unemployment insurance


It is common to have unemployment insurance in Sweden. About 80% of the working population in Sweden has one and Migrationsverket (the Swedish Migration Agency) recommends all Newbies to sign up for one.

Loosing your employment is always stressful and having unemployment insurance can make it less nerve-wracking. Unemployment insurances are called arbetslöshetskassa (or simply a-kassa).

What you get

Living on unemployment payments won’t make you rich, but should keep you a float until you find another job. You are usually entitled to 80% of your former salary for the first 200 days. You will then receive a reduced payment (about 70% of your former salary) for the following 100 days.

There is a payment limit, which means that you can maximum get 680 SEK a day. In other words, you’ll only receive 80% of your former salary if you had a relatively low income.

You can, however choose to ad extra insurance to ensure you receive 80% of your actual income.

Note: you might be entitled to reduced unemployment payment (about 320 SEK a day), even if you have not signed up for an unemployment fund.

This does primarily apply to those who don’t yet qualify for unemployment insurance yet. Contact your closets Arbetsförmedling for more information.


Unemployment payments are paid for about a year (300 days) Parents with small children (below the age of 18 years) might get up to 450 days.

Basic conditions for unemployment payments

The basic conditions for obtaining unemployment payment are the following:

  1. you must to be entirely or partly unemployed,
  2. you must be able to work for at least three hours a day and 17 hours per week,
  3. you must actively seek work and be prepared to accept any suitable job offer,
  4. you must register and cooperate with Arbetsförmedlingen (Public Employment Service)

Who does what?

The short version is: you apply for unemployment payment, your Arbetslöshetskassa (unemployment Insurance Fund) decides your entitlement and Arbetsförmedlingen supervises. The longer version is as follows:


  • sign up for a Arbetslöshetskassa (Unemployment Insurance Fund)
  • register with Arbetsförmedlingen (Swedish Public Employment Service)
  • submit your application to your Arbetslöshetskassa (Unemployment Insurance Fund)
  • actively search for a job

Your Arbetslöshetskassa (Swedish Unemployment Insurance Fund) will then…

  • process your application
  • investigate and determine if your are entitled to unemployment payment
  • pay out your insurance payment
  • answers questions about your entitlement

Arbetsförmedlingen (Swedish Public Employment Service) will meanwhile…

  • supervise that you comply with all the basic conditions
  • provide information/respond to general queries about the conditions

What you should know about Swedish unemployment insurance

  • You don’t have to be a Swedish citizen to join an unemployment fund. All you need is to have a Swedish residence permit, a personnummer and fulfill the basic conditions (see above).
  • Swedish unemployment insurances are not means-tested. You will receive your payment regardless of what you own and are solely based on the fulfillment of the basic conditions (see above).
  • You pay tax on your unemployment insurance payment (as you will do on (almost) all other incomes you make in Sweden).
  • You pay memberships fees, even while you receive unemployment payment. Note, some funds offer discounts.

More information & useful links

Arbetsförmedlingen has a comprehensive guide about unemployment insurances in many languages

List of all unemployment insurances in Sweden

Most unemployment insurances are administrated by labour unions. Recent changes in the regulation, have however, made it possible to sign up for a unemployment insurance without being member of a labour union.

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