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Unemployment hits new low

Unemployment graphic: Oct 2000

(swissinfo.ch)

Unemployment in Switzerland has fallen to its lowest level in nearly nine years. The jobless rate in September stood at 1.7 per cent of the working population.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Berne said the number of registered unemployed dropped by 1,379 to 62,329 last month.

That is well below the 85,096 out of work in September last year, when the unemployment rate stood at 2.3 per cent.

The Secretariat's labour director, Jean-Luc Nordmann, forecast a similar rate for October. However, he added that during the winter months unemployment was expected to rise.

Figures show that the cantons worst hit by unemployment are Geneva (4.2 per cent), Vaud (2.7 per cent) and Ticino (2.6 per cent).

The cantons with a jobless rate of less than one per cent are the two half cantons of Appenzell, as well as Obwalden, Nidwalden, Uri, Schwyz and Glarus.

The total number of people seeking employment and registered with labour offices is 110,089 - 2,523 fewer than in August. The number of job vacancies in Switzerland is 13,059, which is 12 fewer than in August.

Strong economic growth in Switzerland has been generating new jobs this year, leading to shortages in specialist sectors, particularly information technology.

The drop in the jobless rate, which is not seasonally adjusted, was in line with economists' expectations.

swissinfo with agencies


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