Service benefits on unemployment

Most of the services provided for the unemployed relate to job placement. However, all the countries also offer benefits or tax deductions associated with mobility, for example relocation assistance and assistance in connection with maintaining two houses.

Employment services

In all the Nordic countries, employment services and job centres aid both jobseekers and employers. Their main tasks involve offering guidance on employment and training/education, finding work for the unemployed and other jobseekers, and providing recruitment services for employers.


The municipal administrations are responsible for running the job centres, which deal solely with employment activities for local unemployed people and businesses. The employment activities include internships, subsidized employment at an employer, job search counselling, and courses to upgrade skills.

Unemployed people who receive unemployment benefits have a right and obligation to participate in unemployment and job search activities. An employee’s unemployment insurance fund will also offer guidance in the event of unemployment.

Faroe Islands

The unemployment insurance system (ALS) is responsible for the job centre, that establish contact between employers and insured jobseekers. The government is responsible for employment measures aimed at non-insured unemployed.


Local TE Offices, provide employment and economic development services. Services are offered to the unemployed, those who are currently working or entering working life, and employers. The employment offices offer individual jobseeker services, as well as online services for jobseekers to use on their own, including job-seeking tools, guides for immigrants, labour-market training, vocational guidance, and career planning.

Services are also offered to employers, including advertising job vacancies, recruitment, training, consultation and development services, and information on grants.


Since 2006, the labour market, social protection, pension policies and parts of local authority services have all been under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and administered via joint NAV centres. The NAV centres are also responsible for establishing contact between employers and potential employees.

As a rule, unemployed individuals must register with an employment service or a NAV centre, actively seek employment and generally be available to the labour market. They must take part in activation initiatives and accept jobs provided by the employment service or a NAV centre to maintain their entitlement to unemployment benefits or other similar benefits. If an unemployed person is unable to find work, the employment service will aid in the form of e.g., job seeking courses. The employment services and NAV centres also provide jobs and run activation programmes for the unemployed, as per national rules. In addition, the employment services and NAV centres help employers find suitably qualified individuals to fill their vacancies.

The employment services can match employers and employees via online databases of jobseekers’ competences and qualifications. Several private companies also provide similar services. However, most are filled following direct contact between employers and employees, without the involvement of the employment service.


In Sweden, the Central government are responsible for job centres. Other employment services also aid both jobseekers and employers.

Financing of unemployment benefits

Expenditure on unemployment reflects the extent of unemployment, the amounts paid in daily cash benefits and the extent of the activation programs provided. It should be noted, however, that in Finland, a few subsidies are payable to employers for activation purposes. This expenditure is not included as social expenditure on this website. The high expenditure in Denmark is due to the rate for daily cash benefits and the scope of the activation/job training.