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Jobless figures rise slightly

Nearly 150,000 people are awaiting their turn in job centres across the country

(Keystone)

The unemployment rate in Switzerland rose from 3.6 to 3.7 per cent in October.

This meant that the number of people out of work was at its highest level last month since May 2004.

A total of 144,066 people were registered with their local unemployment office at the end of October, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).

This was 1,338 more than in the previous month.

The number of people actively seeking working increased to 212,534, a rise of 1,646.

The number of open positions, however, decreased by 77 during the period in question to 8,874.

Benefits over

In August 2005, just over 3,000 people had reached the end of the period in which they could claim unemployment benefit.

By October, 16 per cent had found a new job but 31 per cent were still registered with their local job centre.

A further 53 per cent were unaccounted for. However, Seco pointed out that there could be any number of reasons why these people remained off the statistical radar.

Reasons included a stay abroad, participation in further education or a conscious decision not to return to paid work.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Number of jobless at the end of October 2005: 144,066 (3.7 per cent)
Number of jobless at the end of September 2005: 142,728 (3.6 per cent)

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