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Unemployment rate continues to rise

Switzerland's unemployment rate increased for the fourth consecutive month in September, rising from 3.8 per cent to 3.9 per cent.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs reported on Wednesday that the number of people registered as unemployed increased by 3,578 to 154,409 by the end of September.

People aged 15 to 24 have been particularly affected by the economic downturn: the jobless rate among that group stands at 5.4 per cent, a 75 per cent rise compared with September 2008.

The centre-left Social Democrats on Wednesday said they want unemployment benefits extended from 400 days to 520 days and called for more measures for unemployed young people.

Party president Christian Levrat told a media conference in Bern that school and apprenticeship graduates under age 30 should be able to request additional training or re-training.

The Social Democrats expect the overall unemployment next year to reach 5.5 to 6.0 per cent.

Since the beginning of the year, the number of people out of work across the country has increased by 58,429, or 60.9 per cent. and agencies


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