Unemployment up for the first time since 2013
Unemployment has risen for the first time in several years, as refugees who arrived in 2015 have been placed on the jobless register.
The public employment service (Arbetsförmedlingen), published its single month estimate of unemployment on Wednesday and said that the number of people looking for work in April rose by 4,000 (to 364,000) compared to the same month last year. The increase was the first recorded in four years.
"The number listed at the employment service has increased for the first time since 2013," Annika Sundén, analysis manager at the employment service tells Radio Sweden.
For a long time, unemployment has slowly gone down, both calculated as the number of unemployed and as a percentage of the labour force. Now that picture has changed for the numbers of people out of work, due to the unprecedented number of refugees who began arriving in Sweden in the autumn of 2015.
"This is explained by the fact that the large group who came as refugees in the autumn of 2015 have been given their residence permits, and then they come to the Employment Service and are enrolled in the establishment program," says Annika Sundén.
She added that the trend will continue with a rise in unemployment throughout 2017.
Among people born in Sweden unemployment was 4 per cent in April, compared with 22 per cent among foreign-born, according to the national employment agency's method of calculation.
According to analyst director Annika Sundén, the increase in the number of unemployed is not seen as a sign of a weaker labour market. Employment is increasing she says and there is demand from employers.
"We see that employers in both the public and private sectors have a high demand for labour."