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EMPLOYMENT

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).

250,000 Swedes out of work: agency

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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IMMIGRATION

Boys claim woman threatened them with ‘sex or deportation’

A woman who ran a refugee home in central Sweden is under investigation for sexual offences after two Afghan boys claimed she threatened them with deportation if they refused her advances.

Boys claim woman threatened them with 'sex or deportation'
File image of asylum seekers in a Migration Agency waiting room in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The boys, who have not been named, say the woman encouraged them to film her having sex with them, newspaper Eskilstuna Kuriren reports.

She then urged them to watch the films and to phone her when they missed her, they said. 

Eskilstuna Kuriren was given access to the films and believes they show the acts described by the boys, and that the woman can clearly be identified. She rejects the accusations.

The boys told Eskilstuna Kuriren they tried to inform social services and the police about what was happening but nobody listened to them.

They then went to the newspaper with their story on the advice of relatives living in another part of Sweden. 

“The boss at the home forced us into it and exploited us for sex. She knew we had to, and that nobody would help us,” one said. 

The boys say they had sex with the woman on four or five occasions, at a hotel and in her own home in the Sörmland region.

On one occasion all three were in bed together, they say, but mostly one of the boys had sex with the woman while the other filmed. 

The woman also offered the boys alcohol, they claim, saying it would help them enjoy the experience and despite them being under 18, the legal age for drinking alcohol. 

They allege that she promised to buy them clothes and toiletries if they had sex with her, but she also told them she would destroy important documents and get the migration agency to deport them if they turned her down.

They also faced sexual advances from other people in the woman’s social circle, they say. 

In an interview with Eskilstuna Kuriren one of the boys says they would be “stoned to death” if they ever went back to Afghanistan and their story got out. 

The boys were recently moved to a home in a different municipality. Local authorities there contacted the police after learning of their allegations. 

Police confirmed to the newspaper that an investigation into sexual offences was ongoing. They would not specify what the alleged offences were. 

The boys say they arrived in Sweden in November after they were urged by their families to flee Afghanistan and seek a better life.