Unemployment hits 9.1 percent: report

454,000 Swedes were registered as unemployed during the second quarter of 2009, new figures from Statistics Sweden (SCB) show.

The resulting unemployment figure was 9.1 percent, up 2.3 percentage points on the corresponding quarter of last year.

The new report however indicates that the number of employed persons who were on sick leave for at least one calendar week dropped by 17.6 percent to 93,000 people.

The figures indicate that 4,525,000 people were in employment during the quarter, a decline of 99,000 in comparison with the same period last year.

The number of permanently employed persons decreased during the second quarter of 2009 by 38,000. This is the first time since the fourth quarter of 2004 that the number of permanent employees has declined in comparison to the same quarter.

Men dominated the statistics of the newly unemployed.

The number of temporary employees also continued to fall – down 54,000 on the second quarter of 2008, continuing the downturn which began at start of 2008.

The quarterly reports from SCB’s Labour Force Survey now feature a new theme section and this quarter compared unemployment statistics for young people aged 15-24 in Europe.

Unemployment among young people is a common problem across the continent and Sweden, at 29 percent, largely follows the same pattern as the other EU countries.

However Sweden does distinguish itself in that unemployment among young Swedish people in relation to unemployment among those aged 25-74 was the highest in the EU in 2008.

The report cites several possible explanations – differences in the way the labour market functions, demographics, the education system, the composition of the labour force and incentives for full-time students.

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