Swedish Town Sees 700 Per Cent Unemployment Rise Due to Coronavirus

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The Swedish municipality of Strömstad has seen a 700 per cent rise in unemployment due to travel restrictions implemented after the start of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

The municipality, which lies near the border with Norway, has seen the massive increase in unemployment as border trade and tourism have nearly evaporated.

Local politicians expressed concern over the large number of people out of work, with Kent Hansson, chairman of the Social Democratic Council, telling Expressen: “I don’t have daily figures, but the last time I heard, just over 12 per cent admitted they were unemployed.

“There are also employment notices that expire in January and February, which will leave more than 1,500 people without a job. That’s up to 20 per cent of the population.”

“It can be very problematic. We could get an exodus of people and lower tax revenues. Many municipalities are hard hit by the pandemic, but Strömstad is one of the hardest hit in the country,” Hansson added.

During the same period last year, the municipality’s unemployment rate was extremely low, with only an estimated 200 people without work out of the total population of nearly 6,30. The increase from last year measures at around 700 per cent.

Local Ida Hansson, 28, is one of the people facing unemployment later this week from her retail position. She told the newspaper: “There will be many of us fighting for jobs that don’t exist.”

“It’s not fun to live in this uncertainty. I think I will come back to my job when the border opens again. You usually have a re-employment right, but I have no hope of finding another job I like better,” she added.

Before the pandemic, Sweden was already facing unemployment problems, with the Swedish bank Handelsbanken stating last January that the country was showing signs of weak economic growth.

Migrant unemployment rates have also been far higher than the rates for native Swedes. In February 2020, the Swedish Employment Service warned that migrant unemployment could reach the highest levels seen since the 1990s.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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