Swedish Language Blog

Sveriges ekonomi i kris Posted by on Jan 16, 2009 in Culture

Recently people have been asking me how the global economic crisis is affecting Sweden. It seems to me that many foreigners are under the impression that a state with a cradle-to-grave welfare scheme should be immune from the worldwide tumble.
Well, that impression is very mistaken. Welfare benefits don’t grow on trees, as some people seem to think. They come from our tax money that has made a trip through the system and now is coming out at the other end.

The economic crisis is hitting Sweden just as it’s hitting all other countries. Every day you read in the papers about new layoffs and job reductions.
Volvo plans 1 200 layoffs, 900 jobs to be cut at Karolinska, Telia-Sonera announces job cuts, OKB on the verge of bankruptcy, 18 000 layoffs in December, Swedish jobs moving abroad… And so on. The outlook for 2009 is grimmer than grim.

Yet many people don’t seem to be worried at all. They believe that having a permanent contract and belonging to a union will protect them from being laid off. I certainly hope that things will not get to the point that this belief will be put to the test.

At least in my neck of the wood, people go about spending money as usual. Shops are full of customers (but I’m not sure if they’re just looking or actually buying). Everyone I asked today was still going on their annual winter vacation. Many people actually waited till the very last minute to take advantage of, yes, you guessed it, last-minute deals.

“It may be the last holiday we can afford for quite some time,” one lady purchasing a vacation package at the Ticket.se office said out loud to no one in particular. I was waiting right behind her and we started to talk. Her husband works at the local Volvo factory and there’s trouble brewing. People will be let go.

Are worried about your personal finances and would like to get some tips on how to manage in this economy?

konsumentverket.se kan du ladda ner en broschyr kallad “Koll på pengarna”, om du på allvar vill gå igenom din ekonomi.

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  1. Rex Lindquist:

    Even here in the land of Microsoft and Boeing air planes. The Seattle metro area is hurting. There is hope because of the new President Barak Obama.

  2. Eva Lambert:

    Living abroad I sometimes look up the Swedish news papers on the net. Here the papers are plastered with Headlines and writings about the recession but the Swedish papers are filled with smiley faces and love stories. I see nothing at all in the Swedish papers that reflects our papers. You must be all so lucky. Here we are just inches from depression.
    It is either a really good wellfare state or a complete ignorance of the worlds state of affairs?