The layoffs are not as serious as expected – earlier this year the Arbetsförmedlingen agency warned it would have to let up to a third of its workforce, or 4,500 people, go amid a major restructuring drive.
But part of the reason behind the slightly milder impact is that around 1,100 of its staff have already voluntarily chosen to quit and seek employment elsewhere in the first four months of the year.
Around 1,600 people have this week been told they will be let go, and another 200 are waiting to find out.
“It would obviously have been a lot worse if 4,500 people had had to quit,” the chair of trade union ST, Fredrik Andersson, told Swedish news agency TT. “But it's a really tough situation. Many people who have been working for years are now being let go and it's very tragic for them.”
Arbetsförmedlingen originally announced the job cuts in January this year, saying it was 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.
It is currently looking at which of its job centres will have to be closed across Sweden, and earlier this year released a list of some of the ones that are likely to be affected.
let go (an employee) – avskeda
voluntarily – frivilligt
staff – personal
workforce – personalstyrka
work – arbeta/jobba
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