Unemployment falls for first time since crisis

For the first time since the financial crisis, the unemployment rate has begun to fall compared to the situation a year ago. At the end of last week, 221,622 were registered as unemployed with the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen), a decrease of 2,765 from the week before.

For the first time since the financial crisis and a deep recession swept across the country, even fewer, 1,847, registered as unemployed compared to the corresponding period a year earlier.

Both Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån – SCB) and the Public Employment Service’s figures indicated that the job market has turned in the spring. The previously rampant unemployment did not turn out as ominous as it had earlier appeared it would be.

Admittedly, many of the unemployed are in various unemployment programs. They are still about 250,000 people in those programs. There were about 77,000 more people in those programs last week than the same period last year. However, even that figure has recently dropped steadily from week to week.

Unless the debt crisis in Greece and other eurozone countries spooks companies, it appears the figure of companies giving advance layoff notices will be down to their lowest levels for a very long time. So far in May, only 726 people have been given advance layoff notices, compared with 8,700 in May 2009 and 3,750 in April.

Last week, employment offices across the country received notice of 12,511 new job vacancies, an increase of 319 compared with the week before and 6,123 more than the corresponding week last year.

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Sweden’s most popular baby names revealed

While Alice remained the most common name for baby girls in Sweden for the third year running, William was dethroned as the most popular boys' name for the first time in years, new statistics show.

Sweden's most popular baby names revealed
Last year, 903 baby girls born in Sweden were named Alice, compared to 938 Alices in 2012, according to Statistics Sweden's (SCB) annual compilation released on Tuesday.
But the name William, which enjoyed top spot for the past two years, was replaced by Lucas, which shot up from third place in 2012. Lucas was given to 935 babies in 2013, compared to 915 little Williams. 
Just over a dozen points behind was Oscar, in third place, and one point behind that was Oliver (see the full top ten below).
As for the girls, Alice was followed by Maja, Elsa, and Ella. 
In the top 100 list for the girls, several names cropped up for the very first time, including Hilma, Ellinor, Sally, Melina, and Nicole. For the boys, new names included Louie and Tor.
In a breakdown of counties around Sweden, Alice was the most popular name in 11 of the total 21 counties. Stockholmers preferred the letter O, with the most popular baby names in the capital Olivia and Oscar.
Top ten girls' names in 2013, with total number.
1. Alice – 903
2. Maja – 767
3. Elsa – 766
4. Ella – 700
5. Julia – 687
6. Ebba – 663
7. Alicia – 625
8. Olivia – 616
9. Alva – 607
10. Wilma – 600
Top ten boys' names in 2013, with total number.
1. Lucas – 935
2. William – 915
3. Oscar – 901
4. Oliver – 800
5. Hugo – 749
6. Charlie – 716
7. Liam – 708
8. Alexander – 694
9. Axel – 677
10. Elias – 676