State-run employment agency Arbetsförmedlingen has hit back at its critics saying the agency was not bad at matching and activating jobseekers. Director General Mikael Sjöberg said, hitting back at the governing Alliance’s criticism.

In April, the Alliance party leaders made it clear that after a possible election victory in September, they were considering closing down the employment agency in its current form.

The reasons they point to are failures to match applicants with the right skills with the right job among other concerns.

But the authority director Mikael Sjöberg rejects the criticism.

“No, not in a systematic way. But it is clear that we have an improvement potential, he told TT news agency in an interview during the Almedalen Week in Visby.

He also emphasized that, for example, matching is very difficult to measure, and that the Employment Agency’s efforts are not always visible in the official statistics.

In terms of activation levels, Sjöberg considers that the Employment Service is at a fairly good level.

At the same time, a number of areas can be improved, he pointed out.

“We start by trying to push for politics, that is where the major improvement effects exist. On our side we are talking about digitization, better tools, but also about specialization and simplifying the regulations. Quite a lot is too bureaucratic, too complicated.

He is not worried by the Alliance’s closure plans, but states that, regardless of which government governs the country after the election, a reorganization of the Employment Service will take place.

“If the Alliance wins, there will certainly be changes, if the sitting government wins, it will certainly also change,” says Sjöberg.


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