The service industries are one of the three main industries. As the industry’s share of GDP and employment has decreased, it is instead the importance of the various service industries that has gradually increased in post-industrial Sweden. The service industries are also responsible for an increasing share of Sweden’s exports.
Employment in education, care and care has constantly increased and is one of the largest service sectors. Business services for businesses and individuals are another large and growing part of the business sector, while trade and restaurant growth has been slowing.
Business internationalization, large industrial companies’ policy to focus on core businesses and their research and development (R&D) needs to cope with growing foreign competition have contributed to the development of certain service industries.
Operations that were previously carried out within a commodity-producing company are now carried out in companies in the service sector, such as technical development in consulting companies and recruitment in staffing companies as well as cleaning and lunch service in special external service companies. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly common for small, R&D-oriented service companies to grow in connection with universities and technical colleges. There they develop a production that will eventually be incorporated into established industrial companies.
Simple postal and banking cases that were previously carried out via postal and bank offices are now carried out directly by the individual customer. At the same time, it becomes more common with complex financial, insurance and administrative matters that require extensive management in various service industries. According to Countryaah, the capital of Sweden is Stockholm.
Sweden is an internationally successful service exporter. In 2014, traditional services such as transport and travel accounted for about one-third of service exports. Most of the export of services is now business services. It is an export that has benefited from digital development and the growth of multinational companies.
Commodity trading has largely increased continuously for many years. At the same time, it is also part of the business sector where competition intensified during the 2000s. In 2015, trade as a whole accounted for 12 percent of all employment in Sweden and approximately 8 percent of GDP.
The financial crisis of 2008–09 saw a significant decline in car sales, a somewhat smaller decline in retail as a whole and a more limited and short-term decline in wholesale trade. After a short upturn, wholesale trade after 2014 remained at an unchanged level, while retail sales increased by a few percent per year.
Like the manufacturing industry, trade has also been internationalized, not only in terms of the origin of the goods but also the organization of wholesale and retail trade. For a long time, established retailers face competition from foreign retail chains in both grocery and retail. Above all, IT development has entailed major changes with new contact opportunities and new sales channels, such as increasing e-commerce.
The high internet usage has led to customers becoming more price and quality conscious. They now place higher demands on the retailers and thus also on the wholesale trade in terms of sustainable production, energy conservation, fair production conditions and environmental considerations.
Fashion, music and games
The fashion industry is sometimes called the fashion industry, but it encompasses a number of interconnected businesses where industrial production itself is a small part.
Fashion designers with their own brands and their own companies or employees at a major fashion company’s design department have during the last decades been of great importance for the Swedish clothing retailer’s expansion in Sweden and abroad. The clothing chain H&M Hennes & Mauritz grows worldwide with self-designed clothing, relatively low prices and a style that is perceived abroad in particular as Scandinavian, simple and functional.
Since the late 1990s, several young Swedish designers have made their own brands. Some of them have become established in the Swedish clothing market and also have sales abroad.
The music industry is also a growth sector in the Swedish business community. Between 2010 and 2017, the industry’s revenue increased from SEK 6.1 billion to SEK 10.7 billion, of which 20 percent was export income. Half of the revenue consists of concert revenue, the balance of copyright revenue and revenue from recorded music.
The computer games industry has grown very fast during the 2010s. Swedish-produced games have become major international successes. The industry’s turnover increased from SEK 3.7 billion in 2012 to SEK 14.7 billion in 2017, predominantly export income. Game developers start companies and launch their games directly on the international market.
Tourism’s share of GDP ranged from 2.6 to 2.8 percent in 2000-14, which is a larger proportion than, for example, agriculture and forestry combined. Tourism revenues come partly from visitors who travel as leisure tourists and partly from business travelers.
Almost 30 percent of the revenue comes from foreign visitors and thus is export income. The trend during the 2000s has been a significant growth in the tourism industry in terms of leisure travelers. Foreign visitors’ share of consumption in Sweden has increased; Growing tourism has led to a sharp increase in the number of hotels in the largest cities and in prominent tourist regions.