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EDUCATION

Swedish jobless rate rises in August

More than 400,000 Swedes, or 8.1 percent of the workforce, were registered as not having jobs in August, up from 7.7 percent last year, new statistics show.

According to the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen), a total of 407,000 had registered with the agency as unemployed or were participating in agency-sponsored programmes to get people back in the workforce.

While the number of Swedes technically registered as unemployed fell by 20,000 in August compared to the year before, the number of people in employment support programmes rose,

Overall, 241,511 people, or 4.8 percent of the workforce, were registered as jobless with the agency.

In addition, however, 165,726 people took part in work support programmes, an increase from 118,956 last year.

But there are signs that the employment picture is improving, as 53,112 people found jobs in August, an increase of nearly 10,000 from the 43,367 who found employment during August last year.

Demand for labour has increased and more people are finding work. The number of redundancies has fallen in the autumn and is now much lower than a year ago. However, many are still unemployed, the agency said.

“We see several positive signs for the job market,” said chief analyst clas Olsson in a statement.

“Employment is increasing, more jobs and more people find work. However, unemployment remains high and there is concern that the number of people in job and development guarantees continues to grow.”

The country’s employment offices were notified about 42,044 new positions, a sharp jump from 28,836 last year.

And only 1,865 people were given layoff notices in August, compared with 5,370 in August last year.

“It was an unusually low notice number for the month,” said Hans Tydén, an analyst at the agency.

The latest figure was the lowest since July 2007. In the 1990s and 2000s, the number has been lower eight other times, according Tydén.

“Those who have jobs are fairly secure,” he said.

Many job seekers are receiving help from job coaches. In August, 11,330 people turned to the agency’s internal job coaches and 21,451 employed external ones. One month after coaching, 37 percent of job seekers who used coaches in July found some form of work.

The statistics reported recently show that unemployment will continue to fall. It has already begun to do, according to seasonally adjusted figures, according to Tydén.

“We should see unemployment falling in the autumn, but maybe not at such a quick pace,” he said.

“Those in the front of the queue are less educated. If they have experience, it increases their chances further. However, it is probably not easy with an incomplete upper secondary education and those with immigrant backgrounds and a poor knowledge of Swedish will find it harder to get a job.”

According to seasonally adjusted figures, unemployment has fallen for 25- to 44-year-olds since the winter. However, it continued to increase somewhat for those under 24 and the oldest in the job market, according to Tydén.

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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