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EMPLOYMENT

Are you worried about losing your job in 2009?

As a wave of layoffs descends on Sweden, we ask whether The Local's regular panelists are concerned about finding themselves unemployed.

Are you worried about losing your job in 2009?
Photo: Daniel Wildman

Carina Silfverduk

Carina Silfverduk

I am not very worried about losing my job in 2009. I work as a software developer for an IT and consulting firm in Malmö. But the thought does linger in the back of my mind as my company has done a few things to cut costs.

Of course, I know better than most how quickly things like this can change. I’ve worked at several companies that merged with others and downsized in the States, and several other companies that went belly up just when it seemed like things were going very well.

I usually have a sense of where a company is going based on how organized and goal-oriented they are. My sense of my company at this time is exactly that. My company is financially stable and the product I am working on is a solid product that is in demand.

The best things for a person to have during challenging economic times are the right skills and experience to be able to obtain another job should you lose the one you have. My job in particular is pretty safe from layoffs considering the body of experience and education it requires.

Nabeel Shehzad

Nabeel Shehzad

80% no and 20% yes.

Since I am working in a US-based company which is currently doing good business all around the globe, the ongoing crisis hasn’t affected the firm. But the fear of losing my job still exists, as I guess it does for most people working in Sweden because this credit crunch is getting deeper and deeper and is showing no signs of ending.

Psychologically speaking, unless we start getting positive news in the newspaper about the current financial situation, we will all be worried about losing our jobs to some extent.

Sanna Holmqvist

Sanna Holmqvist

Not really, but like most people it is hard to feel anything but concern, if not for myself then for the situation as a whole when it seems like every time you turn on the news, hundreds or even thousands more people have been getting notice about losing their jobs.

I heard a professor in economics say today that we must remember that far from all of those who get notice do actually lose their jobs in the end. But still, it must be horrible to live under the pressure. And all branches and sectors will be affected in one way or another, but I am not too worried about losing my job.

Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström

No. Not at all. I just got hired. So I’m flush with confidence.

And I look around at my company and more and more people are being hired. I know there is a recession. I know the unemployment numbers are bad. I know that that there was negative growth in GDP plunging Sweden into an official recession. I read the headlines of people getting laid off. It is not a pretty picture. I know.

But I’m just not worried. Maybe it’s a false sense of confidence considering the continued negative economic outlook, but I’ll rack it up to youthful exuberance and keep going to work every day. And just

feel lucky to have a job.

Claudia Tenenblat

Claudia Tenenblat

As I have said before, I am on extended leave from a job with my country’s federal administration and I don’t work steadily in Sweden. Fortunately, this question does not concern me.

Robert Flahiff

Robert Flahiff

In short, no, I personally am not worried at this point. I am “fastanställd” (permanently employed) and belong to a labour union with a Swedish multinational which, at this point in time, is weathering the current troubles.

But those with short-term contracts have either not had their contracts renewed or have been informed that they will not be renewed. This wasn’t totally unexpected, but does put a bit more pressure on the rest of us to perform.

We are continuing to expand and grow internationally, but if that contracts, then I will start to worry. We are aware, feel, and understand the pinch, but due to previous long-term planning and current investment in automation, we should be OK in the end.

Tiffany Hoffman

Tiffany Hoffman

Tiffany has just arrived in the country and has not had a chance to worry about holding onto a job just yet.

Nicolas Belloni

Nicolas Belloni

Not so much. I’m concerned of course, but I’m a candidate for a PhD position which is 5 years long. So if I get that, I won’t be worried anymore.

EUROPEAN UNION

Sweden heads for economic slowdown EU warns

The European Union has warned that Sweden's economy is facing a marked slowdown, with unemployment set to rise above seven percent as companies cut back on investment.

Sweden heads for economic slowdown EU warns
Jobseekers entering an office of the Swedish Public Employment Service back in 2016, when the economy was booming. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
The August 2019 economic forecast from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs sees the rate of growth of Sweden's real GDP dropping to one percent next year.
 
This is slower than what is expected for all but four of the other 28 European Union members, and well below the brisk  four percent rate the country enjoyed back in 2015. 
 
“Sweden’s economy is clearly slowing down. Domestic demand and investment in particular are weak,” the report read, blaming the insipid domestic demand on a decline in investment in the housing market following years of strong growth. 
 
The slowing economy had also pushed Swedish manufacturers to hold back on investments in equipment, exacerbating the decline. 
 
The authors pointed out that planned government spending would do little to pick up the slack. 
 
“In spite of sizeable spending needs for schools, health care and welfare services linked to demographic developments, general government consumption is set to moderate in 2019 and 2020,” the report read. 
 
“Costs linked to migration should decrease, whereas new defence and health care expenses, priorities of the 2019 budget, are partially compensated by cutbacks on, among other items, labour market and environmental measures.” 
 
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While the report predicted that growth would start to pick up again in 2021, it warned that this recovery could be knocked off course by bad news internationally. 
 
“As the Swedish business cycle is closely aligned to that of its main trading partners, a deterioration of the external environment would weigh on the export sector,” it read. 
 
Real GDP in Germany and Belgium was also predicted to grow by just 1 percent in 2020, while Italy was expected to see a still more anaemic 0.04 percent growth rate. Every other EU country was predicted to grow faster, with Romania seeing the fastest growth at 3.6 percent. 
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