Every 3rd immigrant in Sweden unemployed
In spite of record numbers of available jobs, unemployment among young immigrants is increasing rapidly. “It’s hard. The employers say they’ll be in touch, but they never get back,” says Robin Ivars, from Stockholm, who is looking for a job. Robin is one of 19 500 unemployed immigrants, a group that has exploded during a short period of time. In 2008 every 5th immigrant in the age bracket 19-24 years, was unemployed, last year it was every 3rd according to Sweden Statistics. In 2010, the number of foreign-born unemployed increased with over 3%, while at the same time the number of Swedish-born unemployed youth decreased with almost 10%. Explains Tord Strannefors, Forecasting Director at Arbetsförmedlingen (Swedish Public Employment Service): “They make up a vulnerable group with an educational background that’s fragile. It’s serious; they risk getting knocked out of the job market.” More than every 5th immigrant lacks high school qualifications and more than 50% of them get stuck in long-term unemployment.

Social Democrats in the lead
For the first time since the election last fall, the Social Democrats are ahead of the ruling Moderate Party in polls, although with only a 0.3% margin. According to Opinion Analyst Nicklas Källebring at Synovate, it is much too early to talk about a Juholt effect (after Håkan Juholt, who rather unexpectedly became the current head of the Social Democratic Party in March of this year, taking over after Mona Sahlin). “It is,” Källebring says, “more about a leaderless party that now has a leader, which was one of the reasons they lost voters in the first place.” The Alliance is still in lead with 2.5%. The controversial Sweden Democrats have gone down from 6.2% to 4.2%. “As soon as they (the Sweden Democrat Party) are written about, the support for them increases. It’s just a temporary fall,” Källebring concludes.

Lilla spöket Laban to China
The books about Lilla Spöket Laban (The Little Ghost Godfrey in English), books for children about a little friendly ghost written by Inger and Lasse Sandberg, are being launched in China this week. The book launch will also include a Laban shop in one of the better neighborhoods of Beijing. Altogether 20 books about Laban and five movies about the ghost will be presented as well. It is the first time Swedish youth culture of such measures, is being introduced to China, a country with close to 800 million children.

Ricky Bruch dies
Swedish athlete (discus), and sometime actor/writer Ricky Bruch has died. He was 62 years old. Bruch was born in Göteborg but grew up in Skåne and was a long-time resident of Malmö. A good athlete, Bruch failed to achieve great success in major international events; his greatest successes were Olympic bronze in 1972 along with silver and bronze at the European Championships in Athletics, but he also managed to match the world record in 1972 with a throw of 68.40 meters (224 feet). His personal best (71.26 meters in autumn 1984) remains the Swedish record and puts him ninth in the all-time performers list. Bruch had a minor role in the film version of “Ronia the Robber's Daughter.” Throughout his career, he was known as being both outspoken and controversial. He readily changed his opinions on various matters, and represented around a dozen athletics teams, including his own IK Diskus. Bruch died from cancer.