Unemployment just over three per cent for 2011

Jobless numbers remained low in Switzerland last year despite the strong franc and the financial crisis The unemployment rate was 3.1 per cent, versus 3.9 per cent in 2010.

This content was published on January 9, 2012 - 08:58 and agencies

According to figures released by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) on Monday, an average of 122,893 people received unemployment benefit in 2011.

Numbers fell by nearly 40,000 during the first six months of the year, but rose again by 20,000 in the second part of the year, mostly in November and December because of seasonal factors.

The number of unemployed was over 130,000 people in December (3.3 per cent), while more than 185,000 had announced they were looking for a job.

Funding for unemployment benefit should also be positive for 2011, with income exceeding spending by SFr1.57 billion ($1.65 billion).

The unemployment rate in the 27 European Union states averaged 10.3 per cent in November, with Swiss neighbor Austria recording the lowest level – four per cent – and Spain the highest with 22.9.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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