Unemployment dips in Sweden across ages

Unemployment is continuing to fall in Sweden, according to new statistics from Sweden's Employment Service.

Unemployment dips in Sweden across ages
Young people search for jobs at Sweden's Employment Service: Photo: TT
New figures suggest that at the end of December 2014, 385,000 people were either unemployed or in labour market programmes.
This means that there is currently relative unemployment of 8.1 percent, down 0.5 percentage points on December 2013, when 26,000 more people were unemployed.
"The labour market is continuing to improve, especially for people who have been unemployed for a short time," Mats Wadman from the Swedish Employment Service told news agency TT.
A statement from Sweden's Employment Service added that unemployment was falling more rapidly among women compared to men.
Youth unemployment is declining at a steady rate according to the new figures.
14.8 percent of people aged between 18 and 24 were registered as unemployed in December, a drop of almost 13,000 compared to a year ago, when the rate was 17.2 percent.
But the figures follow separate research released at the end of 2014, suggesting that while under 25s in Sweden are getting jobs, they are increasingly being given fixed term contracts rather than permanent roles.
In November, Statistics Sweden reported that 20 percent of the country's workforce had a job with a limited time frame. Among young people aged 16 to 25, the figure shot up to 52 percent.


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.” 
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.