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EMPLOYMENT

Sweden’s jobless face prospect of bright future

Sweden's jobs market is continuing its recovery, new official data shows, with employment rates increasing steadily and the promise of more vacancies in the offing.

Sweden’s jobless face prospect of bright future

Recent figures show that the number of employed people in Sweden is increasing and the up-turned trend promises more jobs in the offing, according to employment office officials.

“There are more jobs coming. Our statistics show that the number of positions are increasing steadily, and more of those registered with us find employment,” Hans Tydén of the Swedish Public Employment Office (Arbetsförmedingen) told The Local.

According to new figures, 197,847 Swedes were registered as unemployed at the end of last week. That is 2,739 less than the week before and 31,440 less compared to the same week the previous year.

“Unemployment might not have dropped drastically, but that’s because the labour force is steadily increasing with immigration and young people graduating from schools and universities. But little by little we see a tendency toward less unemployed,” Tydén said.

However, according to the employment office there are still groups in Sweden that find it hard to get out onto the labour market. These include those with a low standard of education, the disabled and non-European immigrants.

“But things are getting better for these groups as well. It is just that the development is slower and the increases smaller,“ Tydén said.

According to Tydén, the trend is indicating that Sweden’s unemployed can expect even better times ahead as long as nothing unforeseen happens that affects the country’s economic growth.

“We are going towards a brighter future – at least for the next few years. Provided, of course, that nothing happens in Sweden or in the world to work against us, “ Hans Tydén told The Local.

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IMMIGRATION

Boys claim woman threatened them with ‘sex or deportation’

A woman who ran a refugee home in central Sweden is under investigation for sexual offences after two Afghan boys claimed she threatened them with deportation if they refused her advances.

Boys claim woman threatened them with 'sex or deportation'
File image of asylum seekers in a Migration Agency waiting room in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The boys, who have not been named, say the woman encouraged them to film her having sex with them, newspaper Eskilstuna Kuriren reports.

She then urged them to watch the films and to phone her when they missed her, they said. 

Eskilstuna Kuriren was given access to the films and believes they show the acts described by the boys, and that the woman can clearly be identified. She rejects the accusations.

The boys told Eskilstuna Kuriren they tried to inform social services and the police about what was happening but nobody listened to them.

They then went to the newspaper with their story on the advice of relatives living in another part of Sweden. 

“The boss at the home forced us into it and exploited us for sex. She knew we had to, and that nobody would help us,” one said. 

The boys say they had sex with the woman on four or five occasions, at a hotel and in her own home in the Sörmland region.

On one occasion all three were in bed together, they say, but mostly one of the boys had sex with the woman while the other filmed. 

The woman also offered the boys alcohol, they claim, saying it would help them enjoy the experience and despite them being under 18, the legal age for drinking alcohol. 

They allege that she promised to buy them clothes and toiletries if they had sex with her, but she also told them she would destroy important documents and get the migration agency to deport them if they turned her down.

They also faced sexual advances from other people in the woman’s social circle, they say. 

In an interview with Eskilstuna Kuriren one of the boys says they would be “stoned to death” if they ever went back to Afghanistan and their story got out. 

The boys were recently moved to a home in a different municipality. Local authorities there contacted the police after learning of their allegations. 

Police confirmed to the newspaper that an investigation into sexual offences was ongoing. They would not specify what the alleged offences were. 

The boys say they arrived in Sweden in November after they were urged by their families to flee Afghanistan and seek a better life.