Foto: Jessica Gow/TT.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT.

Large fall in youth unemployment

2:30 min

Youth unemployment has gone down rapidly in Sweden and is now down to 2009 levels.

This past December, there were 10,000 fewer young people registered as unemployed in Sweden compared to the year before.

Today, there are at least 70,000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 who are looking for jobs in Sweden, according to figures from the Public Employment Service, Arbetsförmedlingen.

Mats Wadman, chief analyst at the Public Employment Service, says that there is a strong demand for young people on the labour market right now.

"Many employers are looking to recruit young people. These figures are not surprising, because youth unemployment grows as soon as the state of the economy deteriorates and drops equally fast when the economy is doing better," Wadman tells Swedish Radio News.

Most of the young people who have been employed in the past year have finished high school, and while youth unemployment has gone down overall, Wadman says that the group of young people who are stuck in long-term unemployment is growing.

"Young people have benefited the most from the strong labour market, but there is still a growing group of young people who are stuck in continuous periods of unemployment and this shows that there is still a great need for measures that support these people," Wadman says.

According to the Public Employment Service, a majority of the young people have gotten jobs in health care, retail or the restaurant industry. Stefan Carlén, chief economist at the trade union for commercial workers, says that they have noticed that more young people have gotten retail jobs the past year, and he says that it is often an indication of that the economy is doing well.

"During the financial crisis fewer young people were hired in our industry and many had to leave because they were the last to be hired, but now that the economy is growing, this group is getting more jobs again," he says. 

Carlén says that most of their young members work in stores and have part-time jobs with poor job security. 

"Many of our members want to work more hours and have more stability, but it's hard because these are often their first jobs," Carlén says.

Another group that is also struggling on the Swedish labour market is people who were born outside of Sweden. According to the latest figures, close to half of the 386,000 people looking for work in Sweden were foreign born.

"This dichotomy has been going on for quite some time, and will make it even more difficult for us to find jobs for everyone, as the group is still growing," Wadman says.

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