Vacancies increase in first quarter

After seven straight quarters of a steady decline in the number of available jobs, the demand for labour has increased in the first quarter.

In the first three months of this year, the number of job openings rose by 16 percent, or 44,100, of which 33,200 were in the private sector, according to Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån, SCB).

The number of job vacancies increased in the private and public sectors at 21 percent and 5 percent apiece in the first quarter. Within the manufacturing and extraction industries, the number of available jobs increased by 49 percent.

“The number of employees increased mainly in the culture, entertainment and recreation sector, as well as in health care. Gross pay also rose in those industries,” wrote SCB’s Anders Eklund and Maria Nilsson in a press release.

The acute labour shortage in the private sector in terms of vacancies amounted to 11,000 positions, an 18 percent rise from 2009.

However, the number of those employed fell by 1.5 percent to 3.94 million people. During this period, the manufacturing sector lost 53,200 jobs. The number of employees working in manufacturing decreased by 8.9 percent from the same quarter last year.

“The decline in the manufacturing sector remained strong, but the rate of decline has slowed,” wrote Eklund and Nilsson. “At the same time, the number of vacancies has increased, even in the manufacturing sector.”

Gross pay grew by 0.6 percent, with a 1.3 percent increase in the public sector and 0.4 percent in the private sector, according to SCB. The number of those employed in the private sector decreased by 1 percent and in the public sector by 2.6 percent.

The public sector workforce shrank by 2.6 percent in the first quarter compared with 2009. The number of employees fell within municipalities and counties, but increased in the federal sector.

The largest decrease occurred in the municipal sector, where the decrease amounted to 4 percent. In counties, the decline was 2.4 percent, while the number of federal employees rose by 2.7 percent. In the public sector, gross pay increased by 1.3 percent, with all subsectors increasing.

Gross pay fell by 4.8 percent in the first quarter in the manufacturing industries. The decline was noticeable in most sectors. Gross pay and the number of employees fell the most in the transport, machinery and steel and metal industries.

In the private sector, the number of employees fell by 1 percent in the first quarter. Gross pay grew by 0.4 percent. The number of employees in service industries grew by 1.6 percent in the first quarter compared with 2009.

The employment concept of “employees” does not include self-employed people or assisting family members. However, these may be included in the concept of employed in other employment statistics, according to SCB.

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