The Swedish Agency for Public Management

The public sector in brief 2015

In this report, we describe the development of the Swedish public sector in four different areas: public finances, employment, the number of authorities and man-years in the public sector, and the citizen's perceptions of the quality of public services. The focus is on reporting the past year's trends, mainly in state administration.

In brief, the main results are:

  • The public finance deficit rose in 2014 compared to 2013. The deficit has increased every year since 2011 in relation to GDP. Sweden can still handle the EU convergence requirements with a wide margin, however.
  • Employment in the public sector increased slightly (1-2%) in 2013 compared to 2012. It applies in all sub-sectors: government, municipalities and county councils.
  • The number of government agencies continues to decrease, but not at the same pace as in the early and mid-2000s. In January 2015 there were 349 agencies, which is 21 fewer than in 2014. The decrease is mainly due to the county police authorities and the National Laboratory of Forensic Science being subsumed into the new Police Authority.
  • Citizens were most positive about work by the police, while the Public Employment Service is the least appreciated of the large agencies.