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The unemployment rate is slowly decreasing

The unemployment rate skyrocket during 2020. However it seems like the labor market is slowly returning to its pre-pandemic state.

The unemployment rate is slowly decreasingfoto: Nick Fewings via unsplash
Elin Magnusson
created at: Wed Jun 16 2021| updated at:Mon Jan 17 2022

The Swedish Public Employment Service released a statement on Tuesday explaining the current development of the labor market, and it seems like Sweden is partially moving towards better times.  

At the end of May, 411 000 people were registered as unemployed. Compared to April this year it is an improvement with approximately 14 000 fewer people without a job. This is also an improvement from last year’s number in April with 28 000 fewer registered people. Thus the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.9 percent which is equivalent to a 0.2 percent improvement in April. However, note that this statistic is solely based on a register-based workforce. 

Furthermore, the youth unemployment rate (age 18-25) is decreasing based on the number of enrollees in the Swedish Public Employment Service. At the end of May, there were 51 000 youths registered as unemployed. 

However, even though the unemployment rate is slowly decreasing, the amount of people who have been unemployed for a year or more is increasing. In May, there were 189 000 long-term unemployed. At this rate, Sweden risks reaching an all-time high level of long-term unemployed people. 

The head of analysis, Annika Sundén explains that the pandemic especially affected the hospitality and the retail industry negatively. These types of industries are notorious for temporary employment opportunities and usually require minimal work experience. The pandemic has consequently forced structural change on the labor market. Particularly vulnerable groups such as long-term unemployed people, youths, and newcomers are recommended to further educate themselves to make them more attractive on the labor market. 

Sundén further stated in an interview with SVT that youths are especially mobile as they tend to quickly be re-employed after losing their job. This, because youths generally are seen as an attractive workforce to employ as they have recent work experience and are fresh out of school. 

Source: The Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and SVT

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