Swedish women buck unemployment trend
Across most of Europe it is women that have been hit worst by unemployment, but in Sweden it is the opposite, with 33,000 more men out of work. “It has something to do with the fact that women who have babies in Sweden don’t stop working,” says professor Bertil Holmlund, economics professor at Uppsala university.
The professor also says to Swedish Radio News that the exact reason is not something researchers know for sure.
In Sweden parents get paid by the social insurance system to take time off after their child is born, and a mother on maternity leave is guaranteed to get her old job back when she returns to work. A similar system in Norway may have the answer as to why Sweden and its neighbour have fewer women unemployed than men.
The total difference between male and female unemployment in Sweden is still small, amounting to only half a percentage point.