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More Unemployment, But Less Training

Lines are long at job centers

Updated 4:15 PM

Despite that unemployment figures are at their highest in Sweden since the country’s own financial crisis of the early 1990s, less people are seeking work-related education programs. The number of people reeducating themselves has plummeted a whole 94 percent since 1992, newspaper Dagens Industri wrote on Wednesday.

Jonas Olofsson, associate professor in economic history at Umeå University, told the daily that the numbers haven’t been this low since the 1950s.

The government should inject more money in such training programs, he holds. The Swedish Public Employment Service and Sweden’s largest union group, LO, both agree.

“The best thing one can do is educate workers in order to prepare them for coming jobs,” LO chairwoman Wanja Lundby-Wedin told Dagens Industri.

But Sven Otto Littorin, Sweden's minister of labor, says that the newspaper's report has missed that the government has reformed the education system so that training schemes occur at universities and colleges.

Besides, Littorin told news agency TT, training programs cost "two to three times more" when conducted by the Swedish Employment Service as opposed to the regular education system.

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