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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure SE-2021-1/1893 – measures in Sweden

Lowered payroll taxes for young people

Sänkta arbetsgivaravgifter för unga

Country Sweden , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 January 2021 – 31 March 2023
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Anna-Karin Gustafsson (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 26 April 2021 (updated 12 June 2023)

Background information

Many industries with a high share of young workers, such as commerce and hospitality, have been hit particularly hard by the restrictions and behavioural changes caused by the pandemic. In response, the government decided to lower payroll taxes for people aged 19-23 in order to support the continued employment and recruitment of young people.

Content of measure

The measure reduces employers' social security contributions (payroll tax) for people aged 19 to 23 during the period January 2021 to March 2023. The original level of 31.42 percent is lowered to 19.73% for this age group. The reduction is applicable to employees in the age group earning no more than SEK 25,000 per month (€2,500). For those earning more, the original rate applies.

The reduction was originally planned to take effect from April 2021, but was brought forward to include all of 2021 (and last until April 2023) through an extra amendment budget. The cost of the measure is estimate to SEK 9 billion for 2021-2022, and an additional SEK 1.4 billion for the first quarter of 2023.

Use of measure

No information about the use of the measure is available at this point.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Youth (18-25) in employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The social partners were involved through the regular referral round, where legal proposals are shared with a number of organisations (including but not limited to social partner organisations, government agencies, NGOs etc).

Views and reactions

The original proposal, where the measure was set to take effect from the second quarter of 2021, received criticism from Confederation of Swedish Enterprise for being too late. But the organisation was otherwise largely in favour of the proposal.

Trade union organisations, such as the Confederation for Professional Employees, argued against the measure, stating that the measure is too costly and that research has proved no or only limited effects on employment can be expected from reducing the payroll tax.



Eurofound (2021), Lowered payroll taxes for young people, measure SE-2021-1/1893 (measures in Sweden), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.