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Swedish construction industry in crisis meeting with the government

The parties within the construction industry - TMF, GS union, Byggnads, and Construction Companies - are meeting with the Swedish government for a crisis meeting regarding the construction crisis. 'We collectively urge the government to take action to increase construction before the construction crisis spreads and drags down the entire Swedish economy.'

Cecilia Ask Engström - Industry and Business Policy Manager at Trä- och Möbelföretagen (TMF), represents TMF at the meeting with the minister. Photo: Juliana Fälldin.

'The construction sector accounts for eleven percent of Sweden's GDP and creates many jobs. For every new construction job, three additional jobs are created within materials, transportation, and more. Those jobs are now disappearing due to the collapse in construction. According to the latest forecast from Construction Companies, 23,600 homes are expected to be started in 2024, compared to 60,000 homes in 2021. One in six GS members in the wood industry was laid off in 2023, the number of registrants in the Construction Workers Union's unemployment fund increased by 50 percent, and bankruptcies in the construction sector increased by 29 percent.

The construction crisis not only affects companies and employees within the construction sector. The decreased construction hits all of Sweden hard. This means people have a harder time moving to where the jobs are, overcrowding and segregation increase, and the entire economy shrinks. A report from the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce shows that the construction crisis could cost Sweden 1,000 billion kronor by 2030.

Inflation needs to be addressed, but Sweden must be able to handle multiple challenges simultaneously. The industry cannot handle the construction crisis alone. There is a risk that the crisis will result in a lost generation of construction workers, threatening both societal construction, climate transition, and Sweden's preparedness.

The government has previously stated that they are prepared to do more if the crisis worsens. Therefore, we collectively urge the government to take powerful measures to boost construction. Otherwise, the Swedish construction industry risks being knocked out.'

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