Swedish unemployment hits 9 percent

Swedish unemployment hits 9 percent
With job losses continuing to mount in the mining, manufacturing and energy sectors, Sweden's unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in May, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden.

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.

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.

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