Swedish Unemployment Unchanged in January as Job Losses Slow

Swedish unemployment was unchanged last month as the pace of firings abated.

The non-seasonally adjusted rate, as measured by the number of people claiming benefits, was unchanged at 4.8 percent in January, the Stockholm-based Public Employment Service said in a statement on its website today. The median estimate of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for an increase to 4.9 percent. Taking into account people in job training, the rate was 8.9 percent.

The agency said that the trended, seasonally adjusted job losses slowed to 6,713 last month, from 6,821 in December. Sweden’s export-led economy is hurting amid waning demand from the recession-hit euro area. Ericsson AB, the world’s largest maker of mobile phone networks, and truck maker Volvo AB, are among exporters planning job cuts.

Swedish economic growth will recover this year by 1.1 percent, after slowing to 0.9 percent last year, the government predicts. Unemployment, as measured in a survey by Statistics Sweden, will rise to an average 8.2 percent this year from 7.7 percent in 2012, it said.

Swedish consumer confidence rose the most in more than three years last month as a belief in personal finances improved, while remaining below the historic average.

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