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Swedish jobless rate continues to climb

Published: 10 Jul 2009 13:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Jul 2009 13:42 GMT+02:00

Nearly a quarter of a million Swedes were registered as jobless at the end of June, an increase of nearly 75 percent compared with the same month last year.

According to month-end figures from Sweden's National Public Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen), 233,599 Swedes - or 5 percent of the workforce - were registered with the agency as unemployed the end of June.

The figure represents a rise in the number of jobless by 99,816 people, an increase of 74.6 percent from the same time last year.

In June, around 10,000 people were given redundancy notices, twice as many as the same month a year ago.

Employment minister Sven Otto Littorin fears that the number of unemployed will continue to rise.

“There is a certain lag, and I believe that unfortunately we will see a continuation in these depressing numbers for the rest of the year,” Littorin told the TT news agency.

He warned that unemployment may continue to rise next year, and that even if the business cycle turns, it may take a significant period of time before unemployment falls again.

“It is normal for it to take a while for unemployment to fall again in a business cycle. But we can’t know what will happen this time because the crisis is global,” said Littorin.

The government has not discussed further assistance measures according to Littorin.

“No, the 4 billion kronor ($500 million) assistance package for job market efforts that we presented in December included an allowance for this autumn,” he said.

The number of vacant positions listed with the Arbetsförmedlingen offices rose in June to 32,763, which is 9,913 fewer than a year ago.

The number of people within Arbetsförmedlingen programmes, such as workplace education, was 115,360, an increase of 74.5 percent.

The number of people employed in various programmes of work support, such as income assistance for disabled people, was 74,422, or around 1.6 percent of the labour market.

This represents a decrease of 11,767 people compared to the same month last year.

TT/Stuart Roberts (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:39 July 10, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Wait until the wage bill for July hits the balance sheets in August.......we've not seen the worst of this yet.
03:07 July 11, 2009 by Omidn
Unemployment is always high no matter what.....Arbetsförmedlingen is useless organization in Sweden. What else new!!!!
08:09 July 11, 2009 by skatty
As far as I know, Sweden has always had problem over the number of unemployed. Actually one of the reasons that the present government got the power was the argument over the percent of unemployed in the country! With the former government, the imaginary number of 4% unemployment meant something around 16% real unemployment. The different between the former and present government is a multiplication problem!
06:49 July 13, 2009 by lingonberrie
This situation was exported from America by the bush government and Wall Street, the last of which is now rolling in money again, and the present president is doing a lot of talking whereas the Americans are losing jobs by five hundred thousand plus every month, and homes, and almost fifty million with no health care, and millions more with inadequate health care.

They do have billions, however, for their wars in Afghanistan, and Iraq, which is imploding, and Pakistan, where they are covertly taking over.

Don't blame Sweden for what the United States caused. You have only seen the beginning;things will get worse.
08:20 July 13, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Lingon...........correct, to an extent.

The crash was US-led. The fragility of the European economies was clearly exposed and it is this dependence on the US model that causes places like Sweden or UK to be affected.

The Indo-Chinese economies are the ones that will dig us out of the hole and hopefully after that point the West will learn an important lesson not to rely on US-debt to keep the world economic engine turning.

I like your point about how they have enough money for wars but not for ordinary jobs. Very true.
13:21 July 13, 2009 by conboy
I fear you are all on the money more or less on your comments on an article which provides a good summary of the situation. The disappearance of Swedish primary and secondary industries is however a structural and historical trend and not a cyclical one.

Another Sweden specific comment is that the SEB and Swedbank are reported to be badly exposed in the Baltic States and the Ukraine due to crazy mortgaging and investment policies along the lines practised by American, British and Irish banks. I wonder when this chicken will come home to roost?
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