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Swedish unemployment rises to 8.3 percent in March

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15:15 CEST+02:00
Sweden's unemployment rate climbed to 8.3 percent in March, the fifth consecutive monthly rise and up from 8.0 percent in February, Statistics Sweden (SCB) said on Thursday.

A total of 404,000 Swedes were out of work in March, 99,000 of whom had been unemployed for more than a year, Statistics Sweden said in a press release.

The largest increase was among men aged 15-24 where unemployment rose by 4.8 percentage points to 24.7 percent, Statistics Sweden said.

In March, 4.45 million Swedes held down a job, a drop of 70,000 from the same period last year.

"With regard to the area of industry, the number of employed persons decreased in the manufacturing and construction industry, where 53,000 and 23,000 fewer persons were employed respectively," the statement said.

Sweden's economy officially entered a recession in the third quarter of 2008 and the country's central bank expects it to contract by 4.5 percent this year.

The ministry of finance forecasts unemployment to peak at the start of 2011 at 11.7 percent, before falling again when the economy is expected to recover.

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