The number of people registered as unemployed decreased by 18,000 people between February last year and this year, with the unemployment rate falling from 7.4 percent to 6.9 percent last month, according to new stats by Sweden's national employment agency Arbetsförmedlingen.
The biggest drop was seen among men; the number of unemployed men decreased by 14,000 people to just below 185,000. Meanwhile the number of unemployed women fell by 4,000 to around 164,000.
Annika Sundén, head of analysis at Arbetsförmedlingen, said one major reason behind the drop was that more non-European male new arrivals were now finding jobs, both independent jobs and subsidized jobs.
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The unemployment rate among foreign-born men fell from 21 to 18.5 percent, compared to 19.6 percent of women (down from 20.8 percent), but there is still a big gap between foreign-born and native Swedes.
The figures also show that more young men (10.1 percent) were registered as unemployed than young women (6.9 percent), due to the latter being more likely to complete their high school education.
More people than normal were told they were being laid off last month – more than 8,000 people compared to just above 2,100 in February last year. This increase is largely caused by Arbetsförmedlingen's own layoffs. The agency has announced it is cutting up to a third of its own staff.
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