Quicker climb in lay-offs than during the 2008/9 financial crisis

3:58 min

More planned lay-offs in March than during the 2008/2009 financial crisis. The effects of coronavirus on businesses and livelihoods are grim, according to Sweden's public employment service.

New figures released on Monday show that over 18,000 people were given notice by their employer in March, and Annika Sundén, head of analysis at the public employment service, says the increase has been dramatic.

"In the past two weeks we've seen dramatic changes in the number of people laid off or where employers have put out notices of possible lay-offs," Annika Sundén tells Radio Sweden.

She says it's six times the usual numbers.

In a normal month we have about 3,000, and during the last two weeks we've had 18,400. Almost half of the lay-off notices are in the hotel and restaurant industry. Household consumption has almost stopped."

On Tuesday, the minister for financial markets, Per Bolund, urged the country's banks and credit companies not to pay out dividends to their shareholders during the current corona crisis.

Click on the link to hear the full interview with Annika Sundén.