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Swedish unemployment hits 9 percent

AFP/The Local · 18 Jun 2009, 15:13

Published: 18 Jun 2009 15:13 GMT+02:00

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Around 446,000 people were out of work in May, 157,000 more than in May 2008 when the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, the agency said in a statement.

In figures released last month for April, 403,000, or 8.3 percent, were unemployed in Sweden.

In May, 4.48 million Swedes had a job, a drop of 107,000 from the same period last year.

Statistics Sweden attributed the fall in the numbers of people employed to two main areas: the manufacturing and mining industries as well as the energy and environmental sectors.

"Within this group of industries the number of persons employed decreased by 51,000," the statement said.

It also said the increase in the unemployment rate was due to a higher number of students looking for summer work.

Story continues below…

Sweden's economy officially entered a recession in the third quarter of 2008 and the government forecasts the country's economy will shrink by 4.2 percent this year.

Unemployment in Sweden is expected to swell further to 11.1 percent in 2010 and 11.7 percent in 2011, according to forecasts by the Swedish finance ministry.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:56 June 18, 2009 by Somebody17
This is very bad news :(.

Sweden it's a small economy relying much on exports and if the world economy is going bad then Sweden is going downnnnn...

I was talking with a guy from India and he said there they don't see any changes, so maybe we should think of going to India or China until the crissis is gone for Sweden :P.

What is really bad is that if you are looking for a job if you are a foreigner the company won't evn look at your CV, no mail, no phone call, nothing. More, if you compete with a swed (even if he is 2 level below you as competence) he will always take the job...

Really dark times for foreigners here :(...
13:02 June 18, 2009 by justanotherexpat
It's only going to get worse.

More and more companies will go the wall due to poor or negative liquidity after the summer break. With many companies effectively with zero earnings in July, the wagebill will cripple some in August.

Hold on to your hats...........
13:20 June 18, 2009 by Puffin
It's not a big surprise and will likely get worse especially if the new owners of Saab and possible Volvo decide to rationalise production and shift it to China etc

Many public services are also shedding staff as the local tax base declines

- many kommuns are making teachers redundant

- many County Councils have been closing small units and local offices - especially District nurses offices
14:09 June 18, 2009 by Somebody17
I really hope the pices will go up in China an India as soon as possible, otherwise I don't know what Europe will become.

But companies don't understand that they don't have the same quality as the one in Europe!

And another thing to consider is that they have far too many people there (around 2.8 billion together) so they will always find cheap work :(...
15:11 June 18, 2009 by Greg in Canada
I have a question - Does Sweden count people who are in retraining programs as being unemployed? If you don't, then the % would actually be higher.

Didn't Sweden have the #2 ranked economy at one time back in the 1970's? I first went to Sweden back in the good old days of the ABBA era. It sounds like things have changed a lot.
15:11 June 18, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Ermmmmmmm................you don't think that India and China are also suffering under the current crisis??? This bullshit scapegoatism is blinding you.

It's not *just* because it's cheaper - I'm working right now on numerous projects with Chinese and Indian companies and let me tell you right away that from our end customer's point of view, quality issues are right up there! We're not even going to consider switching supplier unless they can clearly demonstrate an ability to match 'european quality'.

In many cases, they're exceeding it.. Why? Cos Europe's gotten lazy.

Wake up and smell the chai!
15:54 June 18, 2009 by hpunlimited
China is suffering from this crisis too, I heard that a total of 100.000 factories has gone bankrupt and closed down. But the communist regim does not publish any economic data.

India and China has taken over all the unqualified work functions from the Europeans, helpdesks, factory work, jobs anyone can do. Ofcourse they will make some money off this!! But the question is, are the europeans stupid or are the Indians, Chinese? Is it stupid to pay people a decent salery so they can survive or shall the Europeans have people regress their societies and start living like "slumdog millionaire"? a society where people get paid $10 a day and eat trash all day in order to compete with manufacturing companies and help desks in India? these are questions worth thinking about.
16:02 June 18, 2009 by Somebody17
Europe is not lazy! Is taht you can not compare the amount of people in China and India with any country in Europe. Both they have ~ 4 times more people than all Europe!!!

You can take 100 chinese and put them work on a very low salary and do the same work as 1 european! They are a lot of people competing there for a salary, of course they can work cheap. And food in general is cheaper there, but in Europe is not, you have to have a good salary to have a decent life!

More, you can not condamn Europeans of having a personal life also, because chinese and indians are working 12 hours per day. in the end they were going to more than 1 billion people per country!

Companies in general that have to remember that Europeans started the business and brought the technology!

But it's a neverending story. I just hope the prices will go up there soon and they stop increasing population (this will go also to a food crissis since 1/3 of world population is in China and India)!
16:09 June 18, 2009 by justanotherexpat
You can throw whatever stat you like at this........but the point remains the same - Europe is not competing adequately with Indo-China and it is not just in terms of PRICE - so get this into your head........they have caught up on quality too - the ISO certification is there as proof - add that to price and you have a problem.........and it's a problem that Europe is too slow to respond to. Ergo......lazy.
16:10 June 18, 2009 by hpunlimited
It is not just low saleries in China, they have no human rights. Human rights costs money! It means that your company can not put a gun to your head a force you to work or to work you till you die and then replace you with another peasant while your corpse is still warm.

How is Europe going to compete with nations that have modern slavery. The europeans do not believe in slavery(any more :-))
16:20 June 18, 2009 by Somebody17
Lazy? You should remember who brought the companies and technology to India and China: EUROPE! they didn't have anything until then, just the desire to reproduce to 2.8 billion together and then compete for low prices!
16:21 June 18, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Yeah! Go Europe! None of you is a slave to your desk or job! Europe is best! China and India suck! Their cultures are crap and threaten our very existence!


You talk about modern slavery? Try living and working in the UK - or the US for that matter - where the pressure is more subtle than a gun but equally effective.
16:37 June 18, 2009 by hpunlimited
I guess different cultures and different slavery. In EUROPE and USA we are enslaved by our house mortages, banks and taxes. Some how one must work. It is really no different than being enslaved by your government. It is just different. But the Europeans have set a standard that they are comfortable with. Where freedom, liberty is a paramount in our lives.

To live in the jungle of Africa, pick a banana off a tree when you are hungry, sleep on the ground outside in the fresh air, have no house mortage, taxes to worry about is ALSO freedom. But you would be considered "poor" by others since you are not making any money. But you wouldnt have a poor "life" without money. It is just a different lifestyle.
16:39 June 18, 2009 by Benjaminse
China's booming economy continues to increase through its use of slave labor or Laogai camps.

16:46 June 18, 2009 by GITM
Sorry, holding ISO accreditation up as an example of how they have met quality targets is not worth squat, ISO is not worth the paper its printed on in many cases, a box ticking exercise if you will (I've been involved with several ISO accreditations, and have ticked the boxes).

Looking at any major mechanical assembly coming out of china is generally an example of how not to do it.

On the flip side, for widgets and component level parts they can't be beaten.
17:06 June 18, 2009 by hpunlimited
China and India will catch up to Europe, exactly like the Japanese did. And then they will have the same problems the americans and europeans have. The japanese saleries are higher than most european and american, their cost of living is higher, their population is declining, they outsource everything nowadays.

Their workers made more and more money and then asked for more and more human rights every year.

The bad thing is that when the Chinese have the same living standard as the Europeans, then the world is over!! Because of polution and global warming.

The USA and the EU has 2 choices.

1: Nuke the hell out of China and India and save earth

from mankind.

2: Live well as long as we can and then die from earth collapsing. Maybe as soon as 2030.
17:19 June 18, 2009 by testUserName
Well guys, another "Clash of Civilization". May be India and China have some impact on the unemployment in Sweden but instead of looking at who who will rule the world in future, we need to be more constructive and stop putting our frustrations on any community for sure.

Those who thinks India and China are better, go there and make those countries better. Most of the readers here are staying in Sweden so let the discussion bring back on the unemployment in here.

Happy midsummer. I hope to see some sun though. :)
19:13 June 18, 2009 by LazyDog
Lets have more pensioners instead i'm ready when you are :)
19:30 June 18, 2009 by Mib
From my experience in the IT world, the Nordic region hosts a number of small but very successful technology companies ie. Skype, Spotify are the well known ones. Technology will always lead the way and the Nordic region has a tradition of being one of the leaders in innovation. Manufacturing as can be seen in the car industry is ripe for innovation with the drive for efficiency and environmentally friendly technology. So, it will be interesting to see what the new owners of Saab can do to innovate to survive. Sweden has been early adopters of recycling etc, so they should have an advantage over other countries. This is where the real growth industries are, because it saves so much money in the long term. So, as long as Sweden focuses on technology etc, it will be fine...just like in design.

China is a developing country and like any other fast growing place, they are still far away from following our health & safety/legal laws. but, it will come, but not for a long time. The demand will come from the people, just like it has in th Western world.
20:15 June 18, 2009 by Weekend_warrior
Well of course it is going to get worse. The article stated as much. Unemployment will continue to rise to 11.7% into 2011. So I would guess for at least 2 more years, its going to get worse. I would be interested in seeing how much of a "worse-case" scenario they have considered. And if they have taken into account at all the impact of a potential, although seemingly inevitable revaluation of the lats, on the Swedish economy. I know Sweden relies a lot on exportation, and it will be unfortunate that, that sector will be hit so hard.

Re. China and India - I am currently looking into the prospect of hiring someone in India to handle phone calls on my behalf, in which he/she can argue with the individuals companies have hired to argue with me. A novel approach if you ask me.
20:18 June 18, 2009 by skane refugee
'Unemployment' has always been a bit of a 'cinderella' statistic for economists in that a lot of people who'd like to work but can't end up in training/education programmes or claim 'disability' benefits or 'retire' early and don't show up in the unempolyment stats ...

IMHO private sector full time equivalent jobs as a % of the working age population is a better statistic to determine the strength or otherwise of the job market in any given country

I vaguely remember reading an economist magazine article discussing Swedish unemployment before the last election here ... the gist of it was that one of the political parties seemed to be willing to break with tradition and call a spade a spade stating that the 'true' unemployment rate in Sweden was nearer 20% than the officially measured 6% ... the 20% stat was something that the economist seemed to think was a supportable claim

lies, damned lies and statistics ;o)
20:33 June 18, 2009 by localtribal
No immigrant/refugee/student who are invited to sweden will help. The trouble put to them by us: 1.) No ID card, 2.) No jobs(because no swedish).

In this situation, I think as the economy is good for them, they can move back to their countries.

It is waste of time to arrange somebody to attend your calls there in China/India. They are largest number of int. students here and very much skilled. Its better that they go back, and we can be self sufficient with our local industries(Ex: Match/Furniture) to survive until these crisis ends. If they are here, the crime increases due to lack of opportunity for them.
20:37 June 18, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
Yes, but I have a feeling that during the current government the numbers have shifted towards a better representation since a lot of the "educational" programs has been scrapped.
22:41 June 18, 2009 by testUserName
localtribal: Though, this is not the relevant topic place to discuss the cultural thing as I have mentioned earlier in my post but as you guys are keep putting India and China the victim of this whole financial crisis and of the high unemployment rate in Sweden. (FYI, I dont belong to any of these nations)

i could be harsh on you but to teach you to be polite which you lose somewhere behind. Its really sick thinking to assume foreigners "criminals". As a fact, I know many foreigners who are contributing to the society. What they opt is their will and its none of your business. But this hatred will only create more differences and complicate the whole puzzle as such.

Its really sad how different topics on this forum ends up on such a level. I assume to read more thoughtful responses from such an educated people. Cheers!
02:37 June 19, 2009 by lingonberrie
The United States has a reported rate of unemployment that is near Sweden's, whereas Sweden has social safefy nets that keep the people in homes and with health insurance and with inoomes.

Those in the United States have none of those safety nets. There are almost as many people in the United States who have been foreclosed upon as there are adults who are living in Sweden. There are 14 million unemployed in the Unites States, that is almost more than double the population of Sweden.

One suggestion here is to keep the community focused on the topic on Swedish unemployment rather than spinning off in all directions with little common sense. I agree.

I also agree that those who think that they can do better elsewhere should leave Sweden.

I would move to Sweden tommorrow, and take up residency in the land of my ancestors without a second thought.
19:06 June 19, 2009 by Kevgio
as a foreigner that lived in sweden for 8 months and struggled to get work i would not be going there if the time was now thats for sure.

any foreigner thinking of going there should really weigh up their options as the employment doors will be all but locked upon knocking when its time to job hunt.
12:05 June 20, 2009 by Donut
Most companies now are moving to a model where their high volume, low margin components are produced in Asia. And final assembly and maybe some other value added operations are done in europe near the end buyer.
01:06 June 24, 2009 by citizen
I have met a few exchange students from Sweden and , sure, they were extremely dedicated and focused students, quite distant in the beginning and uptight for simple things, but when the party started, they rocked the place.

But it seems like (i'm assuming the posters above are , primarily, swedish) the people are majorly disgruntled by an economic phenomena, something who's root cause cannot be easily ascertained. Instead of solving it, mudslinging is the method adopted. It is sad.

Speaking ill of any culture, be it a third world nation, is not cool. We should be happy that we are privileged and perhaps lend a helping hand to the unfortunate ones.

Please do not let "less jobs" divide us. Understand that this is only a phase that Sweden will go through and that it wont be a problem forever. Sooner or later, someone dedicated to solve the problem will resolve it. =)


P.S: I was only stating my opinion. If you don't like it, lets agree to disagree. =)
01:21 June 24, 2009 by Mib
The Westrn countries were booming in the last phase pre 2008, depsite companies outsourcing their manufacturing and call centres to the East.

It is one of the reasons why the global trading agreement that I believe has been in negotiations for a number of years is always stated as very important as it will increase global trade and benefit mostly everyone. Yet, lobby groups etc want to protect their peice of the pie. Short term thinking me thinks.
10:25 June 24, 2009 by Ragamuffin_99
Global labor arbitrage....

"Don't hate the player, hate the game"
02:47 August 2, 2009 by MikeSar
Why leave Sweden? No sense on that!

Take a job at a lower salary, cut back on your Riviera vacation and tough it out until matters settle.

If any company could hire workers at a low salary (above the minimum wage, of course) they could out-sell computers to, and from, China and India, that's like "Taking coal to Newcastle" like mainlanders used to say.

You are covered for medical care but may have to trade down your Volvo for a Saab.

Think of it as your sacrifice to save the nation. Wish I could qualify for such an approach. In the US, you lose medical care with your job, and your hose is next.

What is the maximum working age in Sweden, anyway?

Read the next article, investors are busy already.
10:31 August 2, 2009 by Likvid
Why? it's a rotten country people wise and political.

If you ever lived here it's no country for people who wants to achieve anything in life, if you are a slacker it's perfectly ok, but i guess any heatlhy person with some goals in life is not a slacker.

Health care is pretty bad consering the amount of taxes you pay, Stockholm is dirty because Stockholm Stad doesn't pick up all rubbish on the streets.
10:48 August 2, 2009 by Plowbridge H. Broad

It's a shame that you have to persist is spreading your cancer. In a bad mood because you couldn't get a shag at the Pride fest yesterday are we? That is if you are allowed into Sweden and are not sitting in your mams kitchen somewhere far away from here.

Still never mind it looks like you may win something for the first time in your miserable, puerile life as you are leading the running for Troll of the Year award 09-10. There may even be new awards in your honour such as bitter loser of the year, eternal virgin lifetime award and doesn't know fjuck all award.

By the way is Likvid short for Likes Kiddie Videos?
13:49 August 2, 2009 by Likvid
You're a bit touchy eh? can't face the truth?

I am really questioning if you aren't a Swede after all.

I am telling you how things are here, if you can't accept that don't bother to answer at all with your stupid remarks!
14:59 August 2, 2009 by Mib
If Sweden is not for you...that's fine. Let it go and find a place that will meet your needs. Just like every woman or man you like, will not like you. You will not like every country you go to. So, cut your losses and trust your instincts.

You will find problems in most places you live and Sweden is in my opinion not a bad place to be, although is does have its frustrations for me. But, it's more about me accepting the frustrations or trying to compromise/learn on how to best deal with them.

Speak to any expat living in France and Spain at the moment and you will be barraged with numerous complaints due to a high unemployment rate, predigest against non-French/Spanish people for jobs, the much weaker pound making pensions worth much less and the inability to sell their property due to the market collapse, especially in Spain. You could live in England and complain about the high property prices, the heavy traffic, council tax that doesn't take into account your income, high rent, dirty streets, ineffective policing, thousands of drunks every weekend wanting to fight, soon to be taxing car parking spaces at work, a good health system that is struggling with demand, bad and expensive public transport.

And politically...well the MPs are a bunch of pigs grabbing every perk they can squeeze to supplement their good salaries. The country want Gordon Brown and Labour to go now as they don't listen. We even have the Prime Minister on Youtube looking like a clown.
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