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Layoffs double in Sweden as pessimism rises

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Layoffs double in Sweden as pessimism rises
12:15 CET+01:00
Redundancies in Sweden are on the rise, with a fresh report showing that twice as many workers were laid off in October compared to the same month last year, making for a labour market climate similar to that of 2009.

Some 10,300 people were made redundant in October, according to fresh figures from the Swedish National Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen).

”It is becoming clear that there is an on-going weakening of the labour market," the the agency's chief analyst Clas Olsson said in a statement.

"There is a clear trend showing an increase in the number of unemployed. To this can be added the rise in redundancies."

The previous month 7,330 people in Sweden were laid off and in October 2010 that number was 5,700. The number of redundancies so far this year is on par with what it was in 2009, in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008.

The number of registered unemployed was at the end of October some 400,000 people, or 8.6 percent of the labour force.

At the same time last year the corresponding number was 8.2 percent.

The rise in redundancies indicates that employers have a more pessimistic outlook for the immediate future, which could mean a further weakening of the labour market.

However, according to Olsson, there is at least one bright spot on the horizon:

”In October, Sweden's employers registered 52,000 vacancies to the employment agency, which is 2,000 more than the same month in the previous year. And some 48,000 people were given some form of employment,” said Olsson.

TT/The Local/rm

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