A job centre in Lund. File photo: Johan Nilsson / TT
Sweden's national employment agency Arbetsförmedlingen is closing more than half of its local job centres across the country over the next two years.
And on Thursday, it announced the municipalities where job centres were expected to close in 2019 or 2020 (see list at the end of this article), with a total of 132 centres affected.
Three municipalities were set to lose more than one job centre, with three each closing in Gothenburg and Stockholm and two set to close in Älvdalen in central-west Sweden.
In the affected areas, the employment agency is expected to use the premises of municipalities, and work out of citizens' service centres home to other national agencies.
Meanwhile, a total of 106 offices would remain open around the country, with varying opening hours. In some smaller offices, employees would travel there only for pre-booked appointments with local customers.
"Reducing the office network is necessary. We are in the middle of a restructuring process [requiring job cuts for] 4,500 employees due to the budget conditions we have for the year. We cannot carry out such a large staff reduction without making changes to the number of offices.," the agency's director-general Mikael Sjöberg said in a statement.
The agency also noted that a growing number of customers choose to get in contact with Arbetsförmedlingen digitally, and have initial meetings over an online chat service, phone or video calls.
Here are all the municipalities where Arbetsförmedlingen plans to close its job centres:
Gothenburg (three centres)
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