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Sweden's Unemployment Rises to 4.6% in December

Sweden's unemployment rate rose to 4.6% in December, the national statistics agency reported Thursday.

Though the jobless figure was slightly higher than November's 4.35%, it was a decrease of 0.8% from the monthly figure for December 2005. It was the eighth straight month the number went down compared with the 2005 rates, thanks mainly to strong growth in the private sector, Statistics Sweden said.

The agency said 211,000 people were unemployed last month. The number of people employed was 4.35 million.

Unemployment among immigrants and people between the ages of 16 and 24 remained high, at more than 10%, the agency said.