SALAR and SOBONA do not have – at least until the present moment – a formal role when it comes to the Corona outbreak management. Nevertheless, they have been actively working on crisis-related content and maintaining close contact with other public authorities across the country in order to maintain cooperation and contribute to the development of efficient and prompt solutions.
They have been contributing by providing important feedbacks regarding the emergence of new responsibilities for the employers of local authorities and regions in Sweden. In this context, they have stressed the difficulties related to the creation of new working plans and schedules that respect the needs and limitations of the workforce (health conditions, childcare, etc.), while maintaining the essential activities properly running.
Furthermore, they have highlighted the challenge imposed by the adoption of the hygiene and sanitary measures at the workplace and the vital responsibility of ensuring workers safety under these difficult circumstances.
Being responsible for representing health authorities at the local and regional level, SALAR is being closely oriented by the Swedish Public Health Authority (Folkhälsomyndigheten), to whom they report all issues related to the spread of virus within the different sectors that they represent.
SALAR has also stressed some of the potential macroeconomic shifts as a result of the COVID-19 that are expected to have an important – but yet impossible to precisely anticipate – impact on the labour market dynamics. Their economic analysts have highlighted the centrality of the issue of uncertainty for the overall functioning of the economy and the fact that current economic forecasts (as the ones that they have internally produced quite recently) are simply not capable of providing any reliable projections of future developments due to the complexity of the current scenario.
Nevertheless, most experts hold quite negative expectations at the moment – which is more than coherent given the gravity of the crisis and its global reach. In this context, it is safe to say that production and employment are going to take serious hits, even if we are not yet able to anticipate the intensity and amplitude of those shocks.
SALAR’S economic outlook has particularly emphasized – due to the relevance for the activity of its membership – the potential effects of the corona virus on tax revenues across the country. However, they correctly reinforced that the unpredictability of the situation – where multiple variables are in stake – forces us to be extremely cautious once producing any sort of economic forecast and aware of their highly volatile nature at this point.