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Unemployment edges higher

Unemployment has climbed back to two per cent


Switzerland's unemployment rate has risen for the fourth consecutive month. The number of people out of work rose to 2.0 per cent in January from 1.9 per cent in December.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said on Wednesday that the rate, which is not seasonally adjusted, was generally in line with market expectations.

Unemployment is expected to remain close to this level over the course of the year as the economy continues to expand, but at a slower rate compared last year.

"It is normal in winter months that (the unemployment rate) goes up on seasonal factors. This is no surprise," said Hanspeter Hausherr, a senior economist at UBS Warburg.

"We think this will last for one or two months during the winter. In spring unemployment has a good chance of declining because growth in Switzerland is still good," he said.

During the month of January 2,571 more people joined the unemployment register in Switzerland, bringing the total number of people out of work to 72,295.

Despite the slight increase January's unemployment rate remains well below the 92,631 people who were registered as unemployed in January 2000.

The number of job vacancies available rose over the month to 12,465 in January from 10,817 in December.

swissinfo with agencies


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The citizens' meeting

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The citizens' meeting