Sweden is closing more than 100 job centres

Sweden is closing more than 100 job centres
A job centre in Stockholm. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT
Sweden's national employment agency Arbetsförmedlingen will close more than half of its local job centres across the country, after politicians agreed to slash its funding.

Arbetsförmedlingen, or the Swedish Public Employment Service, announced on Monday it would close around 130 of its 242 local job centres currently operating across Sweden.

The move affects mainly small offices in rural areas, but also some medium-sized centres.

The news comes a month after the agency said it would lay off around 4,500 of its staff, as a result of cash cuts included in both the right-wing opposition budget passed by parliament last year, but also in the new government deal between the left and centre-liberal parties.

 
 

“We cannot carry out such a major staff reduction without making major changes throughout the office network,” the agency's director-general Mikael Sjöberg said in a statement.

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The agency expects to announce in less than a month exactly which job centres are to be selected for closure, but added that it may take up to a year before they actually do close for good.

 
 
 

Arbetsförmedlingen plans to instead join up with municipalities to use their premises, and work out of other citizens' service centres that are also home to, for example, the tax or insurance agencies.

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