Fewer unemployed but gaps growing

The number of people registered unemployed fell in November to 364,000, a drop of 10,000 compared to November last year. That means unemployment has fallen by 0.2% to 7.6%, according to the Swedish Public Employment Agency’s (Arbetsförmedlingen) monthly figures. For those born in Sweden unemployment is lower than it has been for a long time, at 4.2%.

However DN reports that among those born outside of Sweden, in particular countries outside of the EU, almost a quarter are unemployed. Annika Sundén, head analyst from the agency, says, “If you do not have an upper secondary school education it is difficult to get onto the labour market. Around half of new arrivals do not have an upper secondary school education, many also lack a primary education.” Therefore education is a decisive factor for new arrivals.

OECD: Widening gap

In a new report, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds that the Swedish labour market functions better than most others. However, the job security gap is widening between permanent employees and fixed-term employees, which is why the organisation recommends that Sweden relax its employment laws.

The OECD also recommends that Sweden invest in more training for the least skilled, and ensure that unemployment insurance is designed to cover all workers.