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Swedish jobless rate continues to climb

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13:42 CEST+02:00
Nearly a quarter of a million Swedes were registered as jobless at the end of June, an increase of nearly 75 percent compared with the same month last year.

According to month-end figures from Sweden's National Public Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen), 233,599 Swedes - or 5 percent of the workforce - were registered with the agency as unemployed the end of June.

The figure represents a rise in the number of jobless by 99,816 people, an increase of 74.6 percent from the same time last year.

In June, around 10,000 people were given redundancy notices, twice as many as the same month a year ago.

Employment minister Sven Otto Littorin fears that the number of unemployed will continue to rise.

“There is a certain lag, and I believe that unfortunately we will see a continuation in these depressing numbers for the rest of the year,” Littorin told the TT news agency.

He warned that unemployment may continue to rise next year, and that even if the business cycle turns, it may take a significant period of time before unemployment falls again.

“It is normal for it to take a while for unemployment to fall again in a business cycle. But we can't know what will happen this time because the crisis is global,” said Littorin.

The government has not discussed further assistance measures according to Littorin.

“No, the 4 billion kronor ($500 million) assistance package for job market efforts that we presented in December included an allowance for this autumn,” he said.

The number of vacant positions listed with the Arbetsförmedlingen offices rose in June to 32,763, which is 9,913 fewer than a year ago.

The number of people within Arbetsförmedlingen programmes, such as workplace education, was 115,360, an increase of 74.5 percent.

The number of people employed in various programmes of work support, such as income assistance for disabled people, was 74,422, or around 1.6 percent of the labour market.

This represents a decrease of 11,767 people compared to the same month last year.

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