Stats reflect new employment policies

Employment polices introduced by the new government are beginning make their presence felt on jobless statistics. Open unemployment has started to rise, coinciding with the government's move to cut back on labour market programmes.

At the end of last week the open unemployment register showed 173,410 people out of work, according to the Swedish Employment Service. This represents an increase of 2,090 compared to figures for the previous week.

It is also the first time since the summer that unemployment has risen for two consecutive weeks.

At the same time the number of people occupied by labour market programmes was down 5,500 on the week before, reaching a total of 145,390.

A few weeks ago the Labour Market Service put a stop to new decisions regarding ‘free years’, ‘plus jobs’ and other labour market programmes. The government wants to get the number of people participating in such programmes down to 90,000 next year and 64,000 in 2008.

Meanwhile the government expects the healthy Swedish economy to generate employment for many people currently seeking jobs.

This time last year the number of people unemployed and in labour market programmes, 318,800 in total, was 41,400 higher than it is now.