The head of the Swiss Employers' Association, Thomas Daum, says he's pessimistic about the labour market, predicting an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent next year.
His forecast is higher than that of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, which has put forward a figure of 5.2 per cent or more than 200,000 jobless by mid-March in 2010.
"I fear an unemployment rate that is comparable with 1997," said Daum in an interview with the French-language Le Matin newspaper.
Commenting on the announcement by Geneva luxury watchmaker Franck Muller that it would cut 200 of 418 jobs by the end of the month, Daum said that similar cases would happen "certainly once a month".
"But we are not facing an absolute catastrophe," he added.
At the end of April, the unemployment rate in Switzerland stood at 3.5 per cent or 136,709 people. May's jobless rate will be announced on Monday.
swissinfo.ch with agencies
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