Unemployment heads back up
In another sign that the country's economic fortunes are being hit by the economic downturn, the unemployment rate edged up in July to 1.7 per cent. The number of jobless now stands at 60,166.
Although the unemployment rate is still historically low, the upwards movement will worry politicians and economists at a time when several companies have announced profit warnings and job cuts.
In recent weeks, the Swiss-Swedish engineering concern, ABB, said it planned to cut 12,000 jobs worldwide with an unknown number to go in Switzerland. The American company, Silicon Graphics, announced it was closing its offices in canton Neuchatel with the loss of 300 positions.
Figures from the Federal Statistics Office showed the number of vacancies fell also by more than 1,500 to 12,064.
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