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Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt. Photo: EP

Reinfeldt: 320,000 new jobs in 2015

Politics | 2011-05-07
The Employment issue seems to remain entrenched in the absolute centre of Swedish politics. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt once again raised the issue of employment in a closing speech at the national congress of his Moderate Party. Among else he vented fierce criticism of the policies advocated by the Social Democrats.


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Besides being the Prime Minister of Sweden, Fredrik Reinfeldt is also the chairman of the Moderate Party (liberal conservative), the commanding party in the centre-right government coalition. In his speech to fellow party members, he slated the Social Democrats of the opposition for calling some jobs “dirty work”.

Håkan Juholt, leader of the Social Democrats, “snort at real jobs”, according to Reinfeldt.

"We are talking about more jobs, not wrong jobs," he said, turning directly to people in the service industry, such as hairdressers, those who work with domestic services, and catering staff.

“You are needed,” he said.

The party will also launch a campaign for employment, that it should pay to be employed, and that it should be cheaper to hire. The campaign is directed against the Social Democrats, who do not want to keep the tax reduction for domestic services, a reduced VAT at restaurants, and wants to end the reduced payroll taxes for young staff.

Reinfeldt also defends "Fas tre", a much criticized government-funded employment program. His line is that activity is always better than inactivity, that the problems that exist must be made visible.

“The alternative is to once again launch the carousel of early retirement," he said to the around 1,700 Moderate Party members from around the country.

In 2015 there may be 320,000 new jobs if the economy remains healthy, according to Reinfeldt. This represents an unemployment rate of five per cent, equal to three per cent according to the old non-EU standard of measurement, he pointed out.

Reinfeldt also expressed frustration with the situation in parts of the public sector.

He talked about his visits to working places in the public health sector, where the employees, mainly women, feel they can not affect their work situation - with a male manager sitting in a distant town hall. Sometimes he thinks that one should "tear down the municipal buildings”, but sine the Moderate Party “is not revolutionary” he instead urged fellow moderate politicians to “move the power and influence downwards”.

Note:

Before 2009, the Swedish definition did not consider full-time students, searching for and able to take a job, as unemployed. The definition of the labor force included people aged 16-64, different from the international standard of people aged 15-74. But on recommendation from the EU statistics agency Eurostat the definitions were changed.


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