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Unemployment dips below 2 per cent

Teaching people new skills at a work centre in Wallisellen.


The unemployment rate has fallen below two per cent, for the first time in over eight years. Figures released by the economics ministry show 69,788 people were registered as jobless in May, down from 75,642 (or 2.1 per cent) in April.

The economics minister, Pascal Couchepin, said the figures represented an important moment for the Swiss economy.

He said the exceptional figures were partly due to current economic conditions, but that the flexibility of the labour market, stable labour relations and the quality of training were also responsible.

Looking at the regional figures, the ministry said on Friday that unemployment had fallen most in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. The jobless rate there fell by 0.4 per cent to 2.7 per cent. However, Geneva still has, by far, the highest unemployment rate at 4.4 per cent.

The number of job vacancies in Switzerland has risen to 15,724.

swissinfo with agencies