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Swiss unemployment situation appears to improve

The Swiss Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin on Monday confirmed reports that unemployment in Switzerland dropped below the 100,000 jobless mark in May.

This content was published on June 14, 1999 - 18:11

The Swiss Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin on Monday confirmed reports that uunemployment in Switzerland had dropped below the 100,000 jobless mark in May.

With just over 98,000 people out of work, Switzerland's official unemployment rate has now dropped to 2.7 percent -- the lowest figure since 1992.

The figure is somewhat controversial and critics have argued that the government is massaging the numbers in order to make the economic situation look better than it really is.

Other data released on Monday showed that there had been a nine percent increase in places available in apprenticeship programmes since April 1998.

Apprenticeships in Switzerland last on average between three and four years, during which young Swiss are trained on the job but also get further classroom education.

Last week, the Swiss government announced it would expand the funding of apprenticeship training programmes, particularly in the high-tech sector, in order to keep Switzerland competitive.

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