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Youth Unemployment in Sweden - the  price for poor political judgment

Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Youth unemployment is perhaps Fredrik Reinfeldt's the worst headache as prime minister. Reports show that trends in the past five years has been the worst in the municipalities run by the bourgeois parties.

Since Fredrik Reinfeldt became Prime Minister, unemployment among 20 and 24 year olds increased by 1.6 percentage points according to Statistics Sweden - from 16.6 percent in 2006 to 18.2 percent in 2011.
The issue has become a burden on the government. Already in the Statement from the Government in autumn 2006, Reinfeldt promised crackdown on youth unemployment, but the curve still has not returned.

According to the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, in a mapping of regions in the country that have been hard hit by astronomical rise in youth unemployment, with data from the Employment Service's and unemployment statistics by county, with details of the political majority in each location, it show that bourgeois-controlled municipalities fare worst.

Of the 30 municipalities where youth unemployment has increased the most in percentage, 17 of them are bourgeois, against 6 for the Red-Green bloc 7 others. These include, among others Gnosjö, Värnamo Uppvidinge and Södertälje. Most municipalities were governed by the same blocs before and after the election of 2010.

Of the 30 municipalities where youth unemployment has decreased the most in percentage 11 are bourgeois, 14 Red-Green and 5 blocs of others. These include, among others, Kiruna, Sater, Håbo and Vansbro.

Employment Service Analysis Manager, Clas Olsson thinks the result is interesting, but emphasizes the need for deeper studies to draw any conclusions about the cause.

However, one could be tempted to speculate that youth unemployment in Sweden has been as a result of the flood of cheaper and easy to manage labour from Eastern Europe. One of the cries of Swedish businesses is for them to have the power to be able to fire worker as they wish and also the freedom to pay them as cheaply as possible. Such a thing cannot be done with the large pool of inexperienced, time wasting-to-trained and expensive youths.
Although the government in the past three years gave tax break to companies to encourage them to employ more young people – something that has ended up benefiting the some companies and the state loosing huge amount of many, sectors such as the catering, restaurant and hotels,  have ended up benefiting more – has not seen significant increase in youth employment.

The argument is that when the flood gates for immigrant labour from Eastern Europe was open form some years ago, what could be described as skilled and efficient labour force came into the country. Employer where caught between wasting time to train young people to work or just grabbing the cheap skills that were now abundant on the streets of Sweden. 

As the companies paid their taxes and NI, so the government felt comfortable and relaxed forgetting a sector that was not getting into the job market - the youths. So the tale of lost generation of youths in Sweden became a realisation.
By Scancomark.se Team 

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