Swedish unemployment drops in July

Swedish unemployment drops in July
Unemployment in Sweden dropped significantly in July to 8 percent from 9.5 percent in the previous month, Statistics Sweden reported on Thursday.

Some 415,000 people were out of work last month, the agency said, adding, “The number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate have in recent months showed a downward trend which continued this month.”

Last month’s unemployment figure meanwhile marked “no statistically significant change” from the same month a year ago, the statistics agency said.

Adjusted for seasonal factors, the data showed that 8.5 percent of Sweden’s

working-age population, or around 423,000 people, was out of work last month, which was stable from June.

In its latest forecasts published on Friday, Sweden’s centre-right government lowered its unemployment estimate to 8.5 percent for all of 2010 and to 8 percent next year, with the anticipated increase in jobs spurred by larger-than-expected economic growth.

The new forecasts of a 4.5-percent rise in Swedish gross domestic product this year and a 4 percent hike in 2011 were published just a month ahead of Sweden’s September 19th elections, with the ruling coalition hoping a strong economic recovery will help it win a second four-year term.

The country’s economy, which was hard-hit by the global financial crisis but emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2009, is now considered one of the strongest in Europe.

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