Swedish unemployment drops in new tally
Published: 11 Mar 2014 08:59 CET
The Swedish national jobs agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) reported on Tuesday that it had 404,000 unemployed Swedes currently registered on its database, a reduction of 16,000 job seekers compared to a year ago.
The current number represents 8.5 percent of Swedes in working age, while unemployment was almost twice as high among Swedes aged 18 to 24. In that age bracket, 16.2 percent were registered with the agency as job seekers, the official tally showed. While the number remains high compared to older generations, it had sunk by 1.7 percentage points compared to the previous year.
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"That fewer young people are out of work shows that things are moving in the right direction," the agency's Skåne County spokeswoman Sofia Carlsson said in a statement about sinking job-seeker numbers in the south of the country.
The agency's regional bureaux posted a string of upbeat news on Tuesday, with its northern outfit in Västernorrland reporting that that the number of job listings on its books had gone up by 50 percent. Overall, fewer people registered as looking for work coincided with an upswing in employers looking for staff, the statements revealed.
Unemployment, especially among younger Swedes, has already turned into a key battleground for the political parties gearing up for national elections in September.