250,000 Swedes out of work: agency

250,000 Swedes out of work: agency
More than a quarter of a million Swedes are now officially registered as unemployed, according to fresh figures from with the country’s National Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen).

The figure represents an increase of more than 100,000, or roughly two-thirds, since last year.

Preliminary statistics through the last week of July 2009 show that 250,916 people are registered as jobless with the agency, an increase of 106,187 people from the same week last year.

While the figures are in line with several forecasts, the employment agency is gearing up for an expected wave of additional job losses this autumn as previously announced redundancies begin to take effect.

“It’s going to be tough, but we’re ready,” the Arbetsförmedlingen assistant director general Lena Liljebäck told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

She added that the agency plans to have 30,000 job coaches in place to help job seekers find employment.

In addition, 4,412 people were given redundancy notices in Sweden in July, nearly twice as many as the 2,398 given notice in July 2008.

However, the number of announced job losses reported in July is a more than 50 percent drop from the 9,997 people who were served noticed in June, according to the employment agency’s statistics.

The number of people on supported employment amounted to 73,613, an increase of 11,118 compared to the same week last year.

There were also 114,977 people participating in employment support programmes, which represented an increase of 50,545 compared to the corresponding week in 2008.

Last week, 3,833 new jobs were advertised with the agency, an increase of 615 from the previous week and 2,729 fewer than the corresponding week a year ago.

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