More young women in work than young men
Unemployment rates in Sweden are barely going down at the moment, fresh figures from the National Employment Agency show, and young women are doing better than young men on the jobs market.
"We see a clear difference between young women and young men. There are much fewer young women who are out of work than young men," said Annika Sundén, head of analysis at the National Employment Agency.
The unemployment rate among women aged 18 to 24 is now at 8.6 per cent, while for young men of the same age, it is at 13.6 per cent.
"This trend has been going on since the financial crisis, but the gap is also widening somewhat. Many of those coming to the Employment Agency now are new to Sweden and have just recently acquired their residence permits, and there are many young men in that group," said Sundén.
The overall unemployment rates have been going doing over the past year, but according to the latest monthly figures from the Employment Agency, the dip has flattened out. At the end of February, there were 378,000 people looking for a job via the Employment Agency, and that is approximately 3,000 fewer compared to a year ago. Sundén says that the Swedish labour market is still strong, but that there are significant differences between people born in Sweden and people born abroad.
"We can see that unemployment among people born in Sweden is decreasing while it is increasing among those born abroad. This is a group that is heterogeneous, with big differences in education levels. Many have no upper secondary school education, or even (the equivalent of) nine years of compulsory school education. A combination of efforts is needed for these people to enter the labour market," said Sundén.
The latest figures also show that the unemployment rate is higher among foreign-born women than among foreign-born men, but more men than women from abroad take part in the Employment Agency’s various programmes, Swedish Television News reports.
"The employment service has not been working actively enough with these women, and has now been given the task to do so. This is important, not just for financing the welfare state, but also to ensure these women are independent and equal in the same way as women who are born in Sweden are," Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson told Swedish Television News.
According to the Ministry for Finance, Sweden’s public funds would be strengthened by SEK 37 billion if foreign-born women would work as much as women born in Sweden.