Sweden unemployment stable as EU reports dip

Sweden unemployment stable as EU reports dip
Immigrants, scour a newspaper's job pages.Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT
The EU has recorded the lowest jobless rate across the 28 nation bloc since 2012, with unemployment in Sweden remaining largely stable over the last three months.
The jobless rate in Sweden in February 2015 stayed at 7.8 percent, the same figure recorded each month since November 2014. A year ago the rate stood at 8.0 percent.
The figures suggest it is still marginally easier for women to find jobs in Sweden, with 7.7 percent seeking work compared with 8.0 percent of men.
Youth unemployment also remained stable albeit at the much higher rate of 22.2 percent, slightly down from 23 percent a year ago.
Europe’s average unemployment rate was 9.8 percent.
The figures emerged a day after an OECD report argued that Sweden has weathered the global economic crisis better than most countries but that falling school results, an inflexible labour market, and slow integration of immigrants remain a worry.
In getting to grips with stubbornly high youth unemployment, Sweden should “reduce the gap in employment protection between permanent and temporary contracts and increase flexibility in entry level wages," the report argued.
Elsewhere in the EU, the lowest jobless rate of 4.8 percent was reported in Germany.
Greece (26.2 percent) and Spain (23.2 percent) scored highest, while the proportion of under 25s without work was largest in Spain (50.7 percent), Croatia (46.2 percent) and Italy (42.6 percent).