Fewer new companies set up in 1998

According to figures published in June 1999, almost 34,000 new companies were set up in Sweden in 1998. The figure is down on 1997 and the three previous years. The issue is topical at a time when more Swedish trade unions have been opening their doors to people running their own businesses.

Statistics presented in June 1999 and produced by Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån) in cooperation with the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development (NUTEK), show a 9% fall in the establishment of new companies between 1997 and 1998. In 1998, a total of 33,860 new companies were started, compared with 37,040 in 1997. For the preceding years, the corresponding figures were: 1996 - 36,010; 1995 - 35,000; and 1994 - 34,670. The new companies created 55,200 new jobs in 1998, of which 26,000 were full-time jobs, the statistics also show. The equivalent figures for 1997 were 63,000 new jobs and 32,300 full-time jobs. The reduction has been most evident in the northern counties of Sweden - 22% in Gävleborg, 20% in Västernorrland and 16% in Västerbotten. The statistics are based on genuine new start-ups involving the establishment of new activities. The statistics do not include changes of ownership or of legal status, or other restructuring.

"One explanation of the fall in the number of business start-ups is surely that the labour market improved during 1998 and that consequently the establishment of new companies driven by unemployment declined," stated the general director of NUTEK, Per-Ola Eriksson, in a press announcement.

The issue of new business start-ups is of particular industrial relations significance at present because of the debate within the trade union movement around the increasing tendency for unions to admit the self-employed into membership, given their rising numbers (SE9907178F)

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