Since 2010, the number of cases of Swedes taking sick-leave has increased by 35 percent to 138,000 cases a month, according to a report from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
The increase is mainly due to short-term sickness among working women and young people between 20 and 29. Psychological illness is the most common reason for sick-leave, according to news agency TT.
Thomas Eneroth, a member of the opposition Social Democrats who also sits on the social insurance committee, believes conditions on the labor market are behind the increase. He tells Swedish Radio News that the stress of working life is taking its toll on nurses, social workers and many others who are forced to take sick leave because their workplaces are understaffed.
Absence from work due to illness reached a record-low level in 2010, after steadily declining since 2003.