Improving Job Market in the Nordics

Job Market in the Nordics

Career Angels was asked by Exparang, a Swedish HR-Tech company, that bets on data-driven Executive Search, to take a closer look at the Scandinavian job market and prepare an exclusive and dedicated “Market Signals” report. To understand how “job search-friendly” (aka competitive) a job market is, we analyze the changes in the number of LinkedIn job ads for 80 countries each week – this time we prepared a summary on the Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Norway & Sweden.

Nordics on LinkedIn

The number of job ads on LinkedIn in the Nordics was very stable during the whole year of the pandemic. Apart from a sudden drop in Week 20, the graph shows an almost steady increase. The worst result of the region was noted in Week 20 of 2020 (May) with 27,000 and the best in Week 13 of 2021 (March) with 191,000 job ads. The region currently has more job openings than when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Nordics - the number of job ads on LinkedIn


Denmark has experienced fluctuations in the number of job ads published on LinkedIn. Noticeable changes happened between Week 30 (July) & Week 35 (August) of 2020 with a decrease of -33.8% and then in January 2021: an increase of 39.2% was the start of the country’s so far best period. The highest result since the beginning of our observations was noted in Week 16 (April) of 2021 with 30,000 job ads.

Denmark - the number of job ads on LinkedIn


At first, Finland’s number of job ads on LinkedIn was relatively stable. Then, between Week 31 (July) & Week 33 (August) of 2020, the country experienced a sharp decrease of 33.7%. Despite significant weekly and bi-weekly changes, the baseline number stayed similar until the beginning of January 2021, when the number shot up by 76.7% over five weeks. Since then we have observed very dynamic weekly changes.

Finalnd - the number of job ads on LinkedIn


For the first 14 weeks, the number of LinkedIn job ads in Norway was very stable with almost no changes at all. Then, in Week 29 (July) of 2020, the number rose significantly and since then we have observed a rising tendency with only a few decreases. Since the beginning of 2021, Norway has seen an increase in the number of job ads. Best result so far – Week 10 (March) of 2021 with 34,000 job ads.

Norway - the number of job ads on LinkedIn


The number of LinkedIn job ads in Sweden showed a downward trend at the beginning. Then, a rising period came – it started with a significant increase in Week 31 (July). During the next weeks, the country was experiencing a downward trend again until the beginning of January 2021. Since then, we have noted a noticeable increase that peaked in Week 13 (March) of 2021, the best week so far with 117K job ads. In other words: a good moment to be looking for a career change.

Sweden - the number of job ads on LinkedIn

Week 15 (2020) vs 16 (2021)

Our biggest ranking is a comparison of data from Week 15 of 2020 (the first week of our observations of 36 European countries) with every week that follows. This allows us to measure the difference between the first and the most recent week for every country. In this ranking, the Nordic countries place among the top 20 results, with Norway noting a substantial increase of +520%!

Nordics vs 36 15 vs 16 2020

Week 15 (2021) vs 16 (2021)

The difference between the most recent Week 16 and the previous Week 15 is positive for almost the whole region: Denmark, Norway & Sweden noted weekly increases (+5.3%, +4.5% and +3.5% respectively), but the number of LinkedIn job ads in Finland fell by 3.2%.

Nordics vs 36 15 vs 16 2021

Nordics vs neighboring countries

Results in % for Nordics and neighboring countries, Week 15 vs 16 of 2021:

Nordics vs neighbors

  • Denmark: +5.3%
  • Norway: +4.5%%
  • Sweden: +3.5%
  • Latvia: +2.8%
  • Estonia: +0.3%
  • Poland: -2.7%
  • Finland: -3.2%
  • Lithuania: -3.5%
  • Germany: -11.9%
  • Russia: -46.4%

Nordics vs Western Europe

This ranking shows that all Nordic markets place before the Western European countries when it comes to the proportional change (expressed in %) in the number of job ads noted in Week 15 of 2020 & in Week 16 of 2021.

Nordics vs WE 15 vs 16 2020

Weekly change (Week 15 vs 16 of 2021) shows that Denmark placed second among all Nordic and Western European countries (+5.3%) and Finland was third to last as the only decrease in the Nordic region this week (-3.2%).

Nordics vs WE 15 vs 16 2021

1 year into the COVID-19 pandemic

The number of LinkedIn job ads has grown in every Nordic country within a year of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s more, every country noted a visible increase since the beginning of 2021. This gives hope that the Nordic job market is more on the candidate-friendly side at the moment.

If you are currently looking for a job, make sure that you are precise in how you position yourself and how you set your goal, and that you are searching diligently & systematically using all 4 job search channels: contacting Executive Search Consultants, networking, applying to job ads (yes, even if you are an executive!) and directly approaching potential employers. Don’t forget to prepare two CVs: one for “humans” (your network, recruiters, hiring managers) and one for ATS (Applicant Tracking System), which is becoming more and more popular in recruitment. Check our ATS Guide for more information on how to prepare an ATS-friendly CV.

⇒ And if you are actively looking for a job, feel free to book a complimentary career consultation with Career Angels!

About Market Signals

If you want to be up to date with the job markets in Europe or around the world (we are monitoring 80 countries worldwide!), check out:
Market Signals: daily posts and weekly reports on Saturdays on LinkedIn
Career Angels: advice on career management and job search – our official page on LinkedIn
Hidden Job Market: a group for experienced managers and executives with weekly reviews of hand-picked job ads – that also include opportunities from Exparang!

About Exparang

This Market Signals Report was specially prepared for Exparang, an HR-Tech company that is reengineering executive search with a modern platform for data-driven recruitment matching. Exparang opens doors for proactive career management and unbiased candidate sourcing in the global market for executive, board and other key positions.

Exparang gives their anonymized members, leaders and seasoned professionals, discreet continuous access to matching executive roles, board positions and pro-bono assignments. Membership is invite-only and free of charge. Thanks to Career Angels you are welcome to apply via this link.