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Unemployment hits two-year high

The number of people in Switzerland without jobs reached 128,430 in January, up 9,668 from December.

The figure represents an unemployment rate of 3.3 per cent, the highest it has been for two years, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said on Friday.

It is also a 14.8 per cent increase over one year ago.

Seco said almost half the increase, which was expected, was down to the poor economy but added that the number of young people affected had risen.

More than 21,000 people aged 15-24 do not have jobs, with the unemployment rate for this age group rising from 3.5 per cent in December to 3.9 per cent. That represents an 18.6 per cent increase over the same month last year.

The unemployment rate among foreigners also increased disproportionately and stands at 6.6 per cent.

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