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Environmental Goods and Services Sector 2015:

Almost 72 000 green jobs in Sweden

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2017-06-15 9.30

Employment in the Environmental Goods and Services Sector (EGSS) was 71 900 in 2015, a slight increase of 200 compared with 2014. After 2012, employment in the EGSS has developed more slowly than the general employment in Sweden.

Gainful employment in the EGSS increased steadily from 2004 to 2008, with approximately 11 percent. This steady increase ceased in 2009, however, when the financial crisis struck and employment declined for the first time. The decline was similar to the decline in general employment in Sweden.

After the financial crisis, gainful employment in the EGSS varied within the interval of 71 500 to 72 500. During the same time period, however, general employment in Sweden continued its steady increase. In 2015, the number of gainfully employed in Sweden had increased by more than 13 percent since 2004, while employment in the EGSS increased by 8 percent over the same time period.

Gainfully employed in the EGSS and Sweden, 2004¬–2015, indexed development (2004=100), broken y-axis


The EGSS can also be studied by environmental area. In the figure below, gainful employment in the five largest environmental areas are shown; these account for 70 percent of the total gainful employment in the EGSS.

Changes over time are generally small within the EGSS, but the number of gainfully employed increased in the largest environmental areas, except in renewable energy. Since 2010, the number of gainfully employed in renewable energy has decreased by about 2 000 people. The largest growth is in waste management, which increased by almost 1 000 people in the same time period. Gainful employment in the EGSS as a whole has increased by 5 600 people since 2004.

Gainfully employed in the five largest environmental areas in the EGSS, in 2004, 2010, 2015


Information about an upcoming revision:
Statistics Sweden is now working on a large development of methods and data sources for EGSS statistics. New data sources will be used, which will increase the quality of estimates and allow for new possibilities for presenting the statistics. Due to this development work, the regular publication of statistics in December 2017 will be delayed until the spring of 2018, and instead of two yearly publications, there will in the future only be one larger yearly publication in the spring. This also means that all time-series and variables will be revised in 2018, and the statistics in this piece of statistical news will be outdated. Make sure you always use the most current statistics.

Definitions and explanations

Statistics Sweden defines the Environmental Goods and Services Sector (EGSS) according to EU legal document 538/2014 and the Eurostat manual ”Environmental goods and services sector accounts – Handbook” (2016):

“The environmental goods and services sector consists of a heterogeneous set of producers of technologies, goods and services that:

Measure, control, restore, prevent, treat, minimise, research and sensitise environmental damages to air, water and soil as well as problems related to waste, noise, biodiversity and landscapes. This includes ‘cleaner’ technologies, goods and services that prevent or minimise pollution.

Measure, control, restore, prevent, minimise, research and sensitise resource depletion. This results mainly in resource-efficient technologies, goods and services that minimise the use of natural resources.

These technologies and products (i.e. goods and services) must satisfy the end purpose criterion, i.e. they must have an environmental protection or resource management purpose (hereinafter ‘environmental purpose’) as their prime objective.”

For more information about the definitions and delimitations, see link below to the publication:

“The Environmental Goods & Services Sector – A Data Collection Handbook”

Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, Environmental accounts and Environment

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