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Jobless rate climbs a little higher

Unemployment in Switzerland climbed to 4.2 per cent in November, its highest level since February 2004, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).

Seco said that 163,950 people were jobless, an increase of 5,812 compared with the previous month, adding that the increase mainly affected those in the construction and hotel industry.

It added that the increase was less than had been expected. In October, the unemployment rate was four per cent.

Seco noted that when adjusted for seasonal factors, Swiss unemployment was stable since October at 4.1 per cent, at the highest level since April 1998.

“The underlying gradual upturn in the unemployment rate continued and will remain in place in coming quarters, probably until the middle of next year,” Credit Suisse analyst Fabian Heller told Reuters.

“There is always a risk for consumption in unemployment and that risk remains in place. We expect a further moderation in consumption but given that it has been robust so far, we do not expect a massive slowdown,” he added.

The Swiss economy pulled out of recession in the third quarter, growing by 0.3 per cent thanks to solid consumer spending. and agencies