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Economists Voice Skepticism at Swedish Unemployment Drop

Pedestrians walk near the Skeppsholmen ferry terminal, in view of the closed Grona Lund amusement park, in Stockholm.

Pedestrians walk near the Skeppsholmen ferry terminal, in view of the closed Grona Lund amusement park, in Stockholm.

Photographer: Mikael Sjoberg/Bloomberg
Updated on

Sweden’s unemployment rate defied expectations by falling sharply in March, with economists warning of possible lags in the data as the Nordic region’s biggest economy braces itself for a contraction of at least 4% this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic

According to Statistics Sweden, the seasonally-adjusted rate fell to 6.7%, down from a revised 7.5% in February. Economists were expecting a rate of 7.8%, according to the median of seven estimates from a Bloomberg survey. The unadjusted rate plunged to 7.1%. The agency however stressed that there are “clear signs of the effects of the crisis in several estimations in the LFS for March,” pointing to a sharp decrease in the number of hours worked.