More Swedes dependent on welfare payments

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An increasing number of people in Sweden are dependent on long-term social welfare benefits in order to survive, according to a new report from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).


“This is a problem for the whole of Europe and the rest of the western world. An increasing number of people study at university for years and then graduate and realize that there are no jobs within the field they have specialized,” said analyst Bo Wictorin to Sveriges Radio (SR).

The number of adults above the age of 18 who are receiving long-term social benefits for ten months or longer is increasing across the country, according to the agency’s report. In 2006, when the number was at its lowest, 84,000 people were dependent on the scheme, whereas last year that number had swelled to 110,000.

In Eskilstuna, some 60 percent of those on welfare are both able-bodied and educated, according to Wictorin.

Sarita Hotti, chairperson for the Social Democrat labour and family committee in Eskilstuna, some 88 kilometres south of Stockholm, told SR that the situation is hardest for young Swedes and immigrants:

“Mainly its jobseekers below the age of 35, and this can be seen across the globe that young people can’t get into the labour market. The other group is those born outside of Sweden, that have no network or contacts,” said Hotti to SR.

According to the report, some 4.4 percent of Swedes lived in households dependent on state-funded social welfare bemefits ast year.


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