The Swiss unemployment rate fell to 2.3% in 2019, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). That’s the lowest yearly rate for almost 20 years.
SECO said in a statementexternal link on Friday that 106,932 people were registered with regional job centres in 2019, 9.5% less than in the previous year.
The only blip: the rate rose to a non-seasonally adjusted 2.5% in December 2019 from 2.3% in the previous month.
The 2019 figure “shows that the labour market is in a good state,” SECO said. This was “despite subdued economic growth”, it added.
The previous time such a low rate was measured was at the beginning of the 2000s, said Swiss public television, SRF.external link In 2000 and 2001, it fell to under 2%.
In 2018 the overall rate stood at 2.5%. But the lower 2018 unemployment figures came with a caveat: a new, automated system for collecting information across Swiss job centres may be responsible for the bigger-than-expected decrease, SECO said at the time.
Questions have also been raised by some economists about who is actually counted as jobless in the official unemployment statistics.