In Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark, countries where GDP per capita is among the highest in Europe, unemployment is on the rise.
Populated by around 27 million people, the Nordic region has seen nearly 630,000 workers put on temporary leave in recent weeks, many without pay. About 105,000 others have been laid off, according to Bloomberg calculations.
Employees have been laid off by the truck manufacturer Volvo Group. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Finnair Oyj and Norwegian Air have put most of their employees on leave. Scandic Hotels Group AB has closed the doors of more than 60 hotels, while retailers like Hennes & Mauritz AB have sent thousands of their staff home.
Prevent temporary layoffs from becoming permanent
“It is easy to imagine that the high numbers we see will increase dramatically if the economy is not restarted in a relatively short time,” said Helge Pedersen, chief economist at Nordea Bank in Copenhagen.
The agency says Nordic governments are struggling to provide disaster relief, including subsidies that 75% of wages may need. The aim is to prevent temporary layoffs from becoming permanent.
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