The rate of unemployment is rising in Switzerland just as it declines in the European Union. This has resulted in Switzerland sinking two places to fifth in the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) ranking of best jobless rates in Europe.
The rate of unemployment in Switzerland has risen from 4.4% in the first quarter of a year ago to 5.1% now - the worst figures in six years as the strong franc continues to exact its toll. Iceland (3.2%) continues to lead the field with the lowest jobless rate, with Germany, the Czech Republic (both 4.4%) and Malta (4.9%) now sporting more impressive figures than Switzerland.
In January, the Swiss authorities recorded a six year high jobless rate of 3.8%. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has since said the rate declined to 3.5% last month. But the ILO calculates its own figures, ironing out differences in national reporting.
According to the ILO, Swiss unemployment is rising while it has fallen across the EU from 10.2% to 9.2%. There are now some 249,000 people out of work in Switzerland, according to the ILO, up 37,000 from the same period last year.
The latest ILO figures show a more marked increase in the jobless rate of foreigners and 15 to 24-year-olds in Switzerland.