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The Historical Labour Database (HILD)

The Historical Labour Database (HILD), comprises the most relevant Swedish wage statistics for the years 1865-1990.

The aims of compiling historical wage data in one database are:

  • To stimulate historical labour market research concerning wages.
     
  • To encourage and facilitate for students to write essays and dissertations about labour market conditions during the industrial era.
     
  • To provide information to the general public about the level of income of various wage categories.

The HILD project has been enabled through financial support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the University of Gothenburg.

HILD contains tables and digitalized wage data (Excel files, with labels in Swedish only) together with the original tables as scanned images (PDF files). The statistics are divided according to ’economic sector/industry', ’county/city’, ’occupation/employment category’ and ’gender’. When using information from HILD we appreciate if you make a reference to the Historical Labour Database, University of Gothenburg. 

Have you got views about HILD or tips about wage statistics that we haven’t found? Do you know of older references containing wage information? Have you found any errors in the digitalized tables? If so, please get in touch!

Arbetaretillgång, arbetstid och arbetslön inom Sveriges jordbruk år 1911. Stockholm: K. Kommerskollegii afdelning för arbetsstatistik, 1912.

Arbetaretillgång, arbetstid och arbetslön inom Sveriges jordbruk. Stockholm: Kungl. Socialstyrelsen. 1913–1929. (SOS.)

Hushållningssällskapens berättelser för år … jämte sammandrag. Stockholm: SCB, 1867–1912. (BiSOS. N, Jordbruk och boskapsskötsel.)

Lönestatistisk årsbok för Sverige. Del 1. Industritjänstemän, handelsanställda m.fl. Stockholm: Socialstyrelsen, 1931–1953. (SOS.)

Lönestatistisk årsbok för Sverige. Del 2. Lantarbetare, industriarbetare m.fl. Stockholm: Socialstyrelsen, 1931–1953. (SOS.)

Löner. Del 1. Tjänstemän inom privat sektor. Stockholm: SCB, 1954–1986. (SOS.)

Löner. Del 2. Arbetare inom privat sektor. Stockholm: SCB, 1954–1986. (SOS.)

Löner och sysselsättning inom privat sektor. Stockholm: SCB, 1987–1991. (SOS.)

Sociala Meddelanden. Stockholm: K Kommerskollegii afdelning för arbetsstatistik, 1912. (Statistiska meddelanden. Ser. F.)

Sociala Meddelanden. Stockholm: Kungl. Socialstyrelsen, 1913–1930. (Statistiska meddelanden. Ser. F.)

Contact

Christer Lundh
Phone: +46 31 786 4730
christer.lundh@econhist.gu.se

Svante Prado
Phone: +46 31 786 4748
svante.prado@econhist.gu.se

Statare 1904
Photo: Karl Sandels. Källa: Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek

Tables

The tables contain average wages for workers in agriculture, workers in the industrial sector  and white collar workers in the private sector according to the official Swedish statistics. Further divisions are made into industry, gender, age (underage), worker category/occupation and county/cities.

Digitalized values are available in Excel files (lables are in Swedish only); images of the original tables for verification purposes are available in PDF format.

Additional information

Lantarbetarnas arbets- och löneförhållanden inom olika bygder och å typiska lantegendomar. SOS Socialstatistik. Stockholm: Socialstyrelsen, 1915.

Till belysning af landtarbetarnas arbets- och löneförhållanden i Sverige år 1910. Arbetsstatistik. L:1. Stockholm: K. Kommerskollegii afdelning för arbetsstatistik, 1911.

Undersökning af bagerierna i Sverige. Arbetsstatistik I. Stockholm: Kungl. Kommerskollegium, 1899.

Undersökning af den mekaniska verkstadsindustrien i Sverige. Större egentliga mekaniska verkstäder. Arbetsstatistik III. Stockholm: Kungl. Kommerskollegium, 1901.

Undersökning af den mekaniska verkstadsindustrien i Sverige. Mindre, egentliga mekaniska verkstäder samt vissa specialverkstäder m.m. Arbetsstatistik IV. Stockholm: Kungl. Kommerskollegium, 1904.

Undersökning af tobaksindustrien i Sverige. Arbetsstatistik II. Stockholm: Kungl. Kommerskollegium, 1899.

Undersökning af tryckerier och därmed förenad handtering i Sverige. Arbetsstatistik. A:7. Stockholm: Kungl. Kommerskollegium, 1909.

Undersökning rörande löneläget och lönevariationerna inom jordbruket 1935 – 1936. K. Socialstyrelsen. Stockholm 1938.

Bagge, Gösta, Erik Lundberg & Ingvar Svennilson. Wages in Sweden 1860–1930. I. Manufacturing and Mining. London: P.S. King & Son, 1933.

Bagge, Gösta, Erik Lundberg & Ingvar Svennilson. Wages in Sweden 1860–1930. II. Government and municipal services, agriculture and forestry, the general movement of wages in Sweden 1860–1930. London: P.S. King & Son, 1935.

Björklund, Jörgen & Hans Stenlund. Real wages in Sweden, 1870–1950: a study of six industrial branches. I P. Scholliers & V. Zamagni (red.), Labour's reward. Hants, UK: Elgar, 1995: 151–66.

Dahlkvist, Otto. De svenska industriarbetarnas läge. Del II–III. Variationer i arbetslönerna under perioden 1860–1909. Stockholm: Samson & Wallin, 1911.

Detaljpriser och indexberäkningar åren 1913–1930. SOS Socialstatistik. Stockholm 1933.

Edvinsson, Rodney & Johan Söderberg. The evolution of Swedish consumer prices, 1290–2008. I R. Edvinsson, T. Jacobsson, och D. Waldenström (red), Exchange rates, prices, and wages, 1277–2008, Vol. 1. Stockholm: Ekerlids förlag, 2010: 412–452.

Jörberg, Lennart. A History of Prices in Sweden 1732–1914. Vol. 1. Lund: CWK Gleerup, 1972.

Kommunalarbetarnas löner i Sverige 1865–1930. Undersökning verkställd på uppdrag av Svenska Städernas Förhandlingsorganisation. Stockholm 1933.

Konsumentprisindex. Sverige. Stockholm: Socialstyrelsen, 1954–1962.

Konsumentpriser och indexberäkningar åren 1931–1959. SOS. Priser och konsumtion. Stockholm 1961.

Konsumentpriser och indexberäkningar. Stockholm: SCB, 1961–1996.

Lundh, Christer & Svante Prado. Markets and politics: the Swedish urban–rural wage gap, 1865–1985. European Review of Economic History 19 (2015): 67–87. Supplementary Data.

Myrdal, Gunnar & Sven Bouvin. The Cost of Living in Sweden 1830–1930. Stockholm 1933.

Prado, Svante. Nominal and real wages of manufacturing workers, 1860–2007. I Rodney Edvinsson, Tor Jacobson and Daniel Waldenström (red.). Exchange Rates, Prices, and Wages, 1277–2008. Vol. 1. Stockholm: Ekerlids förlag, 2010: 479–527.

Promemoria rörande inkomstutvecklingen inom Sveriges jordbruk i jämförelse med andra näringsgrenar och dess sammanhang med lönepolitiken. Jordbruksutredningens betänkande VI. SOU 1932:10. Stockholm 1932.

Söderberg, Johan, Long-term trends in real wages of labourers. I Rodney Edvinsson, Tor Jacobson and Daniel Waldenström (red.), Exchange Rates, Prices, and Wages, 1277–2008. Vol. 1. Stockholm: Sveriges Riksbank, 2010.

Albrecht, James, Anders Björklund & Susan Vroman. Unionization and the evolution of the wage distribution in Sweden: 1968–2000. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 64 (2011): 1039–1057.

Allen, G. R. A comparison of real wages in Swedish agriculture and secondary and tertiary industries, 1870–1949. Scandinavian Economic History Review 3 (1955): 85–107.

Bagge, Gösta, Erik Lundberg & Ingvar Svennilson. Wages in Sweden 1860–1930. I & II. London: P.S. King & Son, 1933/1935.

Bengtsson, Tommy Migration, wages, and urbanization in Sweden in the nineteenth century. I A. van der Woude, A. Hayami & J. de Vries (red.), Urbanization in history: A process dynamic interaction. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990: 186–204.

Bengtsson, Tommy & Lennart Jörberg. Regional wages in Sweden during the 19th century. I P. Bairoch & M. Lévy-Leboyer (red.). Disparities in economic development since the industrial revolution. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1981.

Björklund, Jörgen & Hans Stenlund. Real wages in Sweden, 1870–1950: a study of six industrial branches. I P. Scholliers & V. Zamagni (red.), Labour's reward. Hants, UK: Elgar, 1995: 151–66.

Bohlin, Jan & Anna-Maria Eurenius. Why they moved: emigration from the Swedish countryside to the United States, 1881–1910. Explorations in Economic History 47 (2010): 533–551.

Burnette, Joyce & Maria Stanfors. Estimating historical wage profiles. Historical Methods 48 (2015): 35–51.

Burnette, Joyce & Maria Stanfors. Was there a family gap in late nineteenth century manufacturing? Evidence from Sweden. History of the Family 17 (2012): 31–50.

Calmfors, Lars & Anders Forslund. Real-Wage determination and labour market policies: The Swedish experience. Economic Journal 101 (1991): 1130–48.

Edin, Per Anders & Bertil Holmlund. The Swedish wage structure: The rise and fall of solidarity wage policy. I R. B. Freeman and L. Katz (red.), Differences and Changes in Wage Structures. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Edin, Per Anders & Johnny Zetterberg. Interindustry wage differentials: Evidence from Sweden and a comparison with the United States. American Economic Review 82 (1992): 1341–49.

Enflo, Kerstin, Christer Lundh & Svante Prado. The role of migration in regional wage convergence: Evidence from Sweden 1860–1940. Explorations in Economic History 52 (2014): 93–110.

Fregert, Klas. The Great Depression in Sweden as a wage coordination failure. European Review of Economic History 4 (2000): 341–360.

Friberg, Kent. Intersectoral wage linkages: The case of Sweden. Empirical Economics 32 (2007): 161–84.

Gärtner, Svenja. New macroeconomic evidence on internal migration in Sweden, 1967–2003. Regional Studies online 2014.

Gärtner, Svenja. German stagnation versus Swedish progression: Gender wage gaps in comparison, 1960–2006. Scandinavian Economic History Review 62 (2014): 137–162.

Hansen, Jörgen. The Effect of Work Absence on Wages and Wage Gaps in Sweden. Journal of Population Economics 13 (2000): 45–55.

Hibbs Donald A. Wage compression under solidarity wage bargaining in Sweden. FIEF Economic Research Report No. 30. Stockholm: Trade Union Institute for Economic Research. Stockholm: FIEF, 1990

Hibbs, Donald A & Håkan Locking. Wage compression, wage drift and wage inflation in Sweden. Labour Economics 3 (1996): 104–41.

Hibbs Jr, Donald A & Håkan Locking. Wage dispersion and productive efficiency: Evidence for Sweden. Journal of Labor Economics 18 (2000): 755–782.

Holmlund, Bertil & Henry Ohlsson. Wage linkages between private and public sectors in Sweden. Labour 6 (1992): 3–17.

Jansson, Anders, Lennart Andersson Palm & Johan Söderberg. Dagligt bröd i onda tider: priser och löner i Stockholm och Västsverige 1500–1700. Göteborg. Götene: Institutet för Lokalhistorisk Forskning, 1991.

Jungenfelt, Karl G. Löneandelen och den ekonomiska utvecklingen. En empirisk-teoretisk studie. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wicksell, 1966.

Jörberg, Lennart. A History of Prices in Sweden 1732–1914: Volume I Sources, Methods and Tables. Lund: Gleerup, 1972.

Kommunalarbetarnas löner i Sverige 1865–1930. Undersökning, verkställd på uppdrag av Svenska städernas förhandlingsorganisation. Stockholm 1933.

Larsson, M. (1986). Arbete och lön vid Bredsjö bruk: en studie av löneprinciper och lönenivåer för olika yrkeskategorier vid Bredsjö bruk 1828–1905. Uppsala: Uppsala studies in Economic History, no 26.

Le Grand, Carl & Ryszard Szulkin. Permanent disadvantage or gradual integration: explaining the immigrant–native earnings gap in Sweden. Labour 16 (2002): 37–64.

Ljungberg, Jonas. Earnings differentials and productivity in Sweden, 1870-1980. I S. Heikkinen and J. L. van Zanden (red.), Exploring economic growth. Amsterdam: International Institute of Social History, 2004.

Ljungberg, Jonas. The impact of the great migration on the Swedish economy. Scandinavian Economic History Review 45 (1997): 159–89.

Lundh, Christer. Spelets regler: institutioner och lönebildning på den svenska arbetsmarknaden 1850–2000. Stockholm: SNS, 2010.

Lundh, Christer. Statarnas löner och levnadsstandard. I C. Lundh & M. Olsson (red.). Statarna i myt och verklighet. Stockholm: Gidlunds, 2007.

Lundh, Christer. Wage formation and institutional change in the Swedish labour market 1850-2000. I C. Lundh, J. Olofsson, L. Schön & L. Svensson (red.), Wage formation, labour market institutions and economic transformation in Sweden 1860–2000. Almqvist & Wiksell, 2004: 92–142.

Lundh, Christer. Wage forms, costs of living and the urban–rural wage gap: Southern Sweden, 1881–1930. Scandinavian Economic History Review 60 (2012): 123–145.

Lundh, Christer. Was there an urban–rural consumption gap? The standard of living of workers in southern Sweden, 1914–1920. Scandinavian Economic History Review 61 (2013): 233–258.

Lundh, Christer & Svante Prado. Markets and politics: The Swedish urban–rural wage gap, 1865–1985. European Review of Economic History 19 (2015): 67–87.

Lundh, Christer, Lennart Schön & Lars Svensson. Real Wages in Sweden 1860–1914. I C. Lundh, J. Olofsson, L. Schön & L.- Svensson. Wage formation, labour market institutions and economic transformation in Sweden 1860–2000. Lund: Dept. of Economic History, Lund University, 2004.

Lundh, Christer, Lennart Schön & Lars Svensson. Regional wages in industry and labour market integration in Sweden, 1861–1913. Scandinavian Economic History Review 53 (2005): 71–84.'

Lundh Nilsson, Fay. Lönande lärande. Teknologisk förändring, yrkesskicklighet och lön i svensk verkstadsindustri omkring 1900. Lund: Ekonomisk historiska institutionen, Lunds Universitet, 2007.

Meyerson, Eva & Trond Petersen. Lika lön för lika arbete. I I. Persson & E. Wadensjö (red.), Kvinnors och mäns löner – varför så olika? SOU 1997:136.

Nyström, Bertil. Löner och levnadskostnader vid statens järnvägsbyggnader och statens vattenfallsverks byggnadsföretag samt inom därmed jämförliga arbetsområden. Stockholm: K. Socialstyrelsen, 1924.

Nyström, Bertil. Lantarbetarlönernas variationer och orsakerna därtill. Kungl. Landtbruks-akademiens handlingar och tidskrift 77 (1938): 263–75.

Prado, Svante. Fallacious convergence? Williamson's real wage comparisons under scrutiny. Cliometrica 4 (2010): 171–205.

Prado, Svante, Nominal and real wages of manufacturing workers, 1860–2007. I R. Edvinsson, T. Jacobson & D. Waldenström (red.), Exchange rates, prices, and wages, 1277–2008. Del. 1. Stockholm: Ekerlids förlag, 2010: 479–527.

Schön, Lennart. The wage share, cycles and the Kuznets curve of income distribution. I C. Lundh, J. Olofsson, L. Schön & L. Svensson (red.), Wage formation, labour market institutions amd economic transformation in Sweden 1860–2000. Lund: Almqvist & Wicksell International, 2004: 19–44.

Stanfors, Maria et al. Gender, productivity and the nature of work and pay: Evidence from the late nineteenth-century tobacco industry. Economic History Review 67 (2014): 48–65.

Stanfors, Maria. Könslöneskillnader före den moderna arbetsmarknadens genombrott. Ekonomisk Debatt 41 (2013): 5–13.

Stanfors, Maria. Mellan arbete och familj. Ett dilemma för kvinnor i 1900-talets Sverige. Stockholm: SNS förlag, 2007.

Stanfors, Maria, Tim Leunig, Björn Eriksson & Tobias Karlsson. Gender, productivity, and the nature of work and pay: evidence from the late nineteenth-century tobacco industry. Economic History Review 67 (2014): 48–65.

Svensson, Lars. Closing the gender gap: Determinants of change in the female-to-male blue collar wage ratio in Swedish manufacturing 1913–1990. Lund: Dept. of Economic History, Lund University, 1995.

Svensson, Lars. Explaining equalization: Political institutions, market forces, and reduction of the gender wage gap in Sweden, 1920–95. Social Science History 27 (2003): 371–95.

Svensson, Lars. Industrial dynamics, labour demand, and wage differentials in the Swedish manufacturing industry 1930–1990. I C. Lundh, J. Olofsson, L. Schön & L. Svensson (red.), Wage formation, labour market institutions amd economic transformation in Sweden 1860–2000. Almqvist & Wiksell, 2004: 161–80.

Svensson, Lars. A story of equalisation: female and male wages in Sweden 1920–1995. I C. Lundh, J. Olofsson, L. Schön & L. Svensson (red.), Wage formation, labour market institutions amd economic transformation in Sweden 1860–2000. Almqvist & Wiksell, 2004: 204–28.

Söderberg, Johan. Long-term trends in real wages of labourers. I R. Edvinsson, T. Jacobsson & D. Waldenström (red.), Exchange Rates, Prices, and Wages, 1277–2008. Vol. 1. Stockholm: Ekerlids förlag, 2010: 453–478.

Söderberg, Johan. Real wage trends in urban Europe, 1730–1850: Stockholm in a comparative perspective. Social History (1987) 12: 155–176.

Söderberg, Johan. Regional economic disparity and dynamics 1840–1914. The Journal of European Economic History 14 (1985): 273–296.

Söderberg, Johan. Wage differentials in Sweden, 1725-1950. I. Y. S. Brenner, H. Kaelble & M. Thomas (red.), Income distribution in historical perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991: 76–95.

Söderberg, Johan, Ulf Jonsson & Christer Persson. A stagnating metropolis: the economy and demography of Stockholm 1750–1850. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Söderberg, Johan. Hade Heckscher rätt? Priser och reallöner i 1500-talets Stockholm. Historisk tidskrift 107 (1987): 351–356

HILD presents wage statistics as it appears in the printed, original publications. As the basis for occupational or industrial categorization is often changed, it is difficult to create longer time series. Creating homogenous wage series is a research task as is estimating real wages and relative wage differences. Below are some time series, which have been used for research purposes.

Average wages

1365–1850: Daily real wage of unskilled worker in construction in Stockholm (Söderberg 2010)

1860–2007: Nominal and real hourly wage of male industrial worker (Prado 2010)

1860–1985: Real hourly wage of unskilled male workers in agriculture and manufacturing (Lundh/Prado 2015)

Average costs of living

Cost-of-living index of Sweden Statistics (SCB), 1830–2014

- 1830–1913 (Myrdal–Bouvin’s cost-of-living index)

- 1914–1954 (Social Board’s cost-of-living index without direct taxes and benefits)

- 1954–2014 (SCB’s consumer price index, KPI)

Edvinsson-Söderberg’s consumer price index 1290–2006

- 1290–1913 (Edvinsson–Söderberg)

- 1914–2006 (SCB’s cost-of-living index)