Sandvik to cut over 1,000 Swedish jobs

The Sandvik engineering group announced on Thursday it would be laying off more than 1,000 employees in Sweden.

Sandvik to cut over 1,000 Swedish jobs

The town of Sandviken in central Sweden will be hardest hit, with 900 positions within the Sandvik Materials Technology group to be made redundant.

A further 140 jobs are to be eliminated in Hallstahammar, about 130 kilometres west of Stockholm.

“The global market trend is currently very weak. The decline described in conjunction with the report for the third quarter has deteriorated significantly in several segments, primarily relating to the automotive and engineering industries,” said Sandvik CEO Lars Pettersson in a statement, adding that the company had not ruled out additional cuts in the future.

The cuts make up the bulk of a broader downsizing which will see a total of 1,500 full time jobs within Sandvik Materials Technology and 600 temporary contracts within Sandvik Mining and Construction eliminated worldwide.

The cuts come on top of the company’s earlier announced plans to cut staff levels by 380 positions in an effort to raise productivity.

The layoffs are expected to be completed during the first half of 2009.

Sandvik Tooling will also reduce production in the fourth quarter by implementing flexible working hours and temporary plant shut downs in Sweden and other countries, and will also eliminate nearly 300 temporary positions within the company.


Unemployment in France falls slightly despite the lockdown

Unemployment in France has fallen slightly, despite the ongoing ravages of the health crisis and consequent lockdown, latest statistics show.

Unemployment in France falls slightly despite the lockdown
Photo: Stephane du Sakatin/AFP

The number of unemployed job seekers in mainland France fell by 0.4 percent in the first three months of 2021, according to figures published by the French Ministry of Labour on Tuesday.

There were 3,560,600 unemployed registered at the Pôle Emploi (unemployment office), 12,200 fewer than during the last three months of 2020.

This follows a 2.7 percent fall in the final three months of 2020 – but the rate is still up 6.8 percent compared with the first three months of 2020, before Europe began to feel the economic impact of the Covid pandemic.

Currently all ‘non essential’ shops in France have been closed since April 3rd, while bars, restaurants, cafés, gyms, cinemas, theatres, museums and tourist sites have been closed since October 2020.

Despite the fall the total number of job seekers, the number of people who were in work but with reduced hours was up by 0.8 percent at the start of 2021, to 2,156,300.

That means that in total 5,716,900 people in mainland France were registered with Pôle emploi during this period, an increase of 4.9 percent compared with a year ago.

“Over the course of 2020, in one year, unemployment rose by 8 percent. This is obviously a lot, but we must remember that during the crisis of 2008-2009, unemployment leapt by 25 percent, so we can see that the government assistance is working,” Minister of Labour Élisabeth Borne told BFMTV on Tuesday.

The French government has put together a huge package of economic aid to try and mitigate the effects of the repeated lockdowns, from chômage partiel (furlough) schemes for employees to aid packages for business owners and the self-employed. But many small retailers have been hit hard by the three periods of closure for non-essential shops, while the tourist, leisure and hospitality sectors have also had a devastating year.

The economic downturn linked to the pandemic has disproportionately affected young people in France.  Across all categories of job seekers (unemployed and with reduced hours), the latest figures show a rise of 7.1 percent in a year for those under 25, compared to 4.5 percent for the 25-29 age range, and 4.8 percent for those aged 50 and over.

Men are also more likely to have signed up to Pôle emploi, with a 6.1 percent increase on last year, compared to a 3.8 percent increase among women.