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UNEMPLOYMENT

Jobless Swede offers salary as finder’s fee

After being out of work for eleven months, economist Michael Sundblad from Lund, in southern Sweden, decided to try a new approach and is now offering his first month's pay in finder's fee to whomever gets him hired.

”I thought: ‘Almost everyone has a network of people, most people have jobs, and everyone wants money. If I give something, perhaps I will get something back,” Sundblad told The Local.

Sundblad is a trained economist, specializing in international marketing and sales. He has previously worked in Canada and his dream job would involve working in both countries.

During the time he has been unemployed, he has applied for near 300 jobs, only to receive standardized letters declining to give him an interview.

”It is a jungle out there with so many people unemployed at the moment. I felt like all I got was automated response, I couldn’t get my voice heard,” he said.

Born in Canada and with dual citizenship, he was surprised to find that despite being bilingual and having international work experience, he didn’t seem to be able to compete on the Swedish labour market.

The idea to offer his first month’s salary as a finders fee was born out of the frustration of not being able to break through this barrier.

”So this seemed like a new and different approach, and most people could do with some extra money before Christmas,” said Sundblad.

According to fresh figures from Sweden’s National Employment Office (Arbetsförmedlingen) the number of unemployed people in the country has decreased slightly from 8.8 percent of the labour force in November 2010 to 8.2 percent in 2011.

But at the same time, the number of newly registered unemployed has increased.

”We are seeing more clear signs that the strengthening of the labour market is starting to weaken. The latest statistics show an increase in people being laid off and a decrease in the number of unemployed getting hired,” said Clas Olsson, head analyst at the agency to news agency TT, adding that he fears that unemployment figures will rise again.

Sundblad is hoping that his unorthodox attempt of getting hired might turn out to have been a stroke of genius.

Obviously a better paid job will generate a higher finders fee, but to Sundblad it isn’t so much about the salary as it is about getting a chance and trying to find a job in which he can be happy.

As well as an interview in Swedish newspaper Metro, Sundblad has used different social media to reach as many as possible with his unusual request. He has already started to get responses.

”A Stockholm company called me after reading my request and I have set up a meeting with them next week,” Sundblad told The Local.

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EUROPEAN UNION

Sweden heads for economic slowdown EU warns

The European Union has warned that Sweden's economy is facing a marked slowdown, with unemployment set to rise above seven percent as companies cut back on investment.

Sweden heads for economic slowdown EU warns
Jobseekers entering an office of the Swedish Public Employment Service back in 2016, when the economy was booming. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
The August 2019 economic forecast from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs sees the rate of growth of Sweden's real GDP dropping to one percent next year.
 
This is slower than what is expected for all but four of the other 28 European Union members, and well below the brisk  four percent rate the country enjoyed back in 2015. 
 
“Sweden’s economy is clearly slowing down. Domestic demand and investment in particular are weak,” the report read, blaming the insipid domestic demand on a decline in investment in the housing market following years of strong growth. 
 
The slowing economy had also pushed Swedish manufacturers to hold back on investments in equipment, exacerbating the decline. 
 
The authors pointed out that planned government spending would do little to pick up the slack. 
 
“In spite of sizeable spending needs for schools, health care and welfare services linked to demographic developments, general government consumption is set to moderate in 2019 and 2020,” the report read. 
 
“Costs linked to migration should decrease, whereas new defence and health care expenses, priorities of the 2019 budget, are partially compensated by cutbacks on, among other items, labour market and environmental measures.” 
 
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While the report predicted that growth would start to pick up again in 2021, it warned that this recovery could be knocked off course by bad news internationally. 
 
“As the Swedish business cycle is closely aligned to that of its main trading partners, a deterioration of the external environment would weigh on the export sector,” it read. 
 
Real GDP in Germany and Belgium was also predicted to grow by just 1 percent in 2020, while Italy was expected to see a still more anaemic 0.04 percent growth rate. Every other EU country was predicted to grow faster, with Romania seeing the fastest growth at 3.6 percent. 
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