Swedish unemployment continues decline

Sweden's unemployment rate continued to decline in October to 7.5 percent from 7.8 percent in September, Statistics Sweden announced on Thursday.

A total of 369,000 were out of work last month, compared with 385,000 the previous month, the agency said in a statement.

“The labour market continues to develop in a positive direction with increasing employment, more hours worked and decreasing underemployment. The positive development is strengthened since unemployment tends toward a decrease and the number of long-term unemployed is not increasing,” the agency added.

In October, the number of employed aged 15 to 74 increased by 1.1 percentage points or 112,000 to 4.57 million for an employment rate of 64.9 percent. Among those aged 25 to 54, the number of employed increased by 92,000 to 3.15 million.

The number of unemployed youth aged 15 to 24 was 137,000, corresponding to a youth unemployment rate of 22.9 percent. Out of these unemployed, 65,000 studied full-time.

The total labour force amounted to 4.98 million people for a labour force rate of 70.8 percent, 74.1 percent for men and 67.4 percent for women.

Out of the 369,000 unemployed, 121,000 were full-time students. The number of long-term unemployed amounted to 123,000 in October. The number not in the labour force was 2.1 million, while those outside the labour force due to sickness dropped by 62,000 as the number of pensioners increased by 43,000.

The labour supply not utilised amounted to 18.9 million hours per week, or 473,000 full-time jobs, with a full-time job representing a 40-hour week.

Seasonally adjusted, the unemployment rate was 8.1 percent last month, down slightly from 8.2 percent in September. According to the agency, the employment rate was 65.1 percent, representing 4.58 million people in work.

“The trend for the number of employed is positive for both sexes, but stronger for men,” the agency reported.

According to seasonally adjusted data, the number of unemployed was 404,000. The number of employees increased by 113,000 persons, with growth almost exclusively within the private sector.

The number of permanently employed increased by 70,000 to 3.46 million, mostly among men.

Seasonally adjusted, the number of hours worked also rose 5.3 percent to 159.1 million. Of the hours worked, 2 million hours were performed by Swedish residents employed abroad.

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