Unemployment drops to sixteen year low

Unemployment in Sweden has reached its lowest level for sixteen years.

Open unemployment figures for the end of May accounted for 154,000 people, or 3.3 percent of the workforce, the lowest level since 1991.

According to the Swedish Employment Service, the figures for May represent a drop of 33,000 people, or 0.9 percentage points, compared to the same period last year.

The number of vacancies advertised at job centres around the country amounted to 81,000 in May, almost 25,000 more than the same month last year.

There was also a sharp drop in the number of people on labour market programmes: 57,000, or 1.2 percent of the labour force in May 2007, compared to 109,000 last year.

The number of employees receiving various forms of disability benefits also dropped somewhat. Just over 100,000 people, or 2.2 percent of the workforce, fell into this category.

There were also far fewer redundancies in the current period. A total of 1,500 people were let go from their jobs in May 2007. This was 1,300 fewer than last year and the lowest number since Sweden first began recording redundancy figures in 1992.