Swedish local authorities could face severe staffing shortages in the next decade. They will need an extra 208,000 employees by 2025 to keep up with growing demand, but only 207,000 workers are projected to join the country’s entire labour force – both public and private sector.

According to Annika Wallenskog, chief economist at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, local authorities recruiting 208,000 workers is “not a credible scenario”. The real risk is that the public and private sectors end up competing for the same workers, she said.

As reported by Bloomberg, the government is going to have to come up with some seriously big ideas on how to make up for future labour shortages. Immigration has also become an especially sensitive topic since the country re-imposed border controls in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis.

Sweden needs to accelerate the speed of automation, increase employment and reform its welfare state, Wallenskog said. Otherwise “we won’t have enough people to continue working the way we do.”

According to Bloomberg, whoever governs after the September 9 general election will not be able to ignore the problem.