Discussion paper

DP16330 Unemployment Inequality in the Pandemic: Evidence from Sweden

Using the full population of registered unemployed individuals in Sweden, we study the unequal labor market impact of Covid-19 depending on gender, wage, age, and country of birth. Also, having very detailed data on the occupation of the unemployed, we can study inequalities both across and within occupations. We find that two demographic factors are associated with higher unemployment in the pandemic: being young and being foreign-born. Gender, however, does not seem to play a big role in the Swedish context, likely due to both institutional factors and labor market structure, as well as policy measures such as not closing schools and day-care facilities. We also find a clear wage gradient with lower-paying jobs having higher unemployment risk. Our results confirm previous findings on the most vulnerable being hit the hardest, but at the same time emphasize the importance of country specific studies to understand the economic impacts of the pandemic.


Campa, P, J Roine and S Strömberg (2021), ‘DP16330 Unemployment Inequality in the Pandemic: Evidence from Sweden‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 16330. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16330