Economists dismiss new fall in Swiss unemployment rate

Economists warn that the jobless figures are not seasonally adjusted Keystone

Switzerland's unemployment rate fell again in June to 1.6 per cent, down from 1.7 per cent in May. The figures released on Friday from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs mean that the jobless rate is at its lowest level for nearly ten years.

This content was published on July 6, 2001 - 13:15

The number of registered unemployed fell to 59,176 in June, down from May's figure of 61,097.

But economic analysts say the figures, which are not seasonally adjusted, are not a true reflection of the jobs' market and warned that the underlying trend was for an increase in unemployment.

"On a seasonally adjusted basis, the positive trend of the Swiss labour market has changed already," said UBS Warburg in its daily markets newsletter.

The investment arm of the country's biggest bank said the news was no reason to be positive about the state of the economy.

A raft of recent economic data has suggested that economic growth is slowing, though most analysts still expect growth of around two per cent for the current year.

Some analysts are urging the Swiss National Bank to cut interest rates to stimulate the economy but the SNB has not moved since cutting the rate by a quarter per cent in March.

"Swiss monetary policy to our understanding is currently stuck," said UBS Warburg. "Unless the European Central Bank is to cut rates, we see little probability that the SNB will come forward with such a move on their own."

The European Central Bank left its interest rate unchanged following its meeting on Thursday.

swissinfo with agencies

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