Unemployment jumps to 9.5 percent in June

Unemployment in Sweden climbed to 9.5 percent of the workforce in June, from 8.8 percent in May but remained down on last year, new figures showed on Thursday.

About 488,000 people were actively seeking employment in the Scandinavian country last month, which was not a statistically significant change compared

to the same figure last year when Sweden registered 10 percent unemployment,

the data from the statistics agency SCB showed.

“It is the second month in a row that unemployment has not increased significantly over the course of one year,” the agency said.

Compared to May, when about 434,000 people were looking for work, there was however a clear increase, but this was largely owing to seasonal variations, according to SCB.

Many students in Sweden register as unemployed during the summer months, and in June a full 29 percent of the country’s jobless were full-time students, the statistics showed.

The data, once adjusted for seasonal factors, showed that 8.1 percent of the labour force aged 15 to 74 was unemployed in June, down from 8.8 percent 12 months earlier and from 8.7 percent in June 2009.

The latest estimates from the Finance Ministry, published at the beginning of last month, put Sweden’s jobless rate is expected to tick in at 8.9 percent this year, before gradually sinking to 6.0 percent by 2014.

The country’s economy, which was hard-hit by the global financial crisis but which emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2009, has in recent months been described as a rare bright spot in beleaguered Europe.

The finance ministry last month raised its economic growth forecasts for Sweden to 3.3 percent this year from a previous estimate in April of 2.5 percent.

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Sweden’s most popular baby names revealed

While Alice remained the most common name for baby girls in Sweden for the third year running, William was dethroned as the most popular boys' name for the first time in years, new statistics show.

Sweden's most popular baby names revealed
Last year, 903 baby girls born in Sweden were named Alice, compared to 938 Alices in 2012, according to Statistics Sweden's (SCB) annual compilation released on Tuesday.
But the name William, which enjoyed top spot for the past two years, was replaced by Lucas, which shot up from third place in 2012. Lucas was given to 935 babies in 2013, compared to 915 little Williams. 
Just over a dozen points behind was Oscar, in third place, and one point behind that was Oliver (see the full top ten below).
As for the girls, Alice was followed by Maja, Elsa, and Ella. 
In the top 100 list for the girls, several names cropped up for the very first time, including Hilma, Ellinor, Sally, Melina, and Nicole. For the boys, new names included Louie and Tor.
In a breakdown of counties around Sweden, Alice was the most popular name in 11 of the total 21 counties. Stockholmers preferred the letter O, with the most popular baby names in the capital Olivia and Oscar.
Top ten girls' names in 2013, with total number.
1. Alice – 903
2. Maja – 767
3. Elsa – 766
4. Ella – 700
5. Julia – 687
6. Ebba – 663
7. Alicia – 625
8. Olivia – 616
9. Alva – 607
10. Wilma – 600
Top ten boys' names in 2013, with total number.
1. Lucas – 935
2. William – 915
3. Oscar – 901
4. Oliver – 800
5. Hugo – 749
6. Charlie – 716
7. Liam – 708
8. Alexander – 694
9. Axel – 677
10. Elias – 676