Foto: Bertil Enevåg Ericsson/Marcus Ericsson/TT. Montage: Sveriges Radio.
Håkan Gustavsson welcomes the new numbers but warns of worker shortages. Credit: Bertil Enevåg Ericsson/Marcus Ericsson/TT. Montage: Sveriges Radio.

Strong job market poses threat to local authorities

2:28 min

As the number of unemployed in Sweden continues to fall, local authorities are struggling to fill positions, thereby threatening services.

According to figures released by the Swedish employment service, Arbetsförmedlingen, on Monday, some 361,000 people were registered as unemployed with the agency in October, amounting to 7.4 per cent of the workforce. This compares to 7.6 per cent for the same month one year ago.

A record 3.9 per cent of those born in Sweden are currently unemployed, while unemployment among those born outside Sweden edged lower to 22.1 per cent, according to the agency.

"We have an extremely strong labour market, where jobs are increasing in many areas. At the same time, we have seen an increase in the labour force, a lot of people want to get into the Swedish labour market," Annika Sundén, analysis director at Arbetsförmedlingen said in a statement.

From January to October, 29,100 people lost their jobs - the lowest level for ten years.

However, the booming jobs market is a source of concern for some. Speaking to Swedish Radio News, Arbetsförmedlingen's Håkan Gustavsson warned that some sectors of the economy were finding it increasingly challenging to fill positions, with local authorities being among those hardest hit.

"The lack (of people) is increasingly gradually. It's increasing in the private and public sectors. The problem is especially acute for local councils and authorities - responsible for, among other things, healthcare and education - that are really struggling to recruit people," Gustavsson said.

"We have a serious recruitment challenge in the coming years, especially after 2020," Caroline Olsson, Employer Policy Division, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, told Radio Sweden.

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