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Unemployment stable at low level

The number of people seeking work has risen slightly, but the job market remains tight

(Keystone)

Unemployment has risen slightly in Switzerland, from 1.7 per cent in October to 1.8 per cent in November. The economics ministry said the rise was due to seasonal factors.

The largest increase in the number of jobless was in canton Ticino (up 0.6 per cent). The ministry said this was clearly related to the fact that November is traditionally a bad month for tourism in the Italian-speaking region.

Canton Valais also saw an above-average increase (up 0.3 per cent). The authorities said that although the construction industry had had more work after October's floods and landslides, hotels and restaurants had suffered from the bad weather.

The head of the state secretariat for economic affairs, Jean-Luc Nordmann, said the increase was well within their expectations, and was likely to continue.

"Unemployment will rise further in December and January, before stabilising in February. From March onwards we can expect falling levels of unemployment again," he said.

Nordmann said he was happy with how the job market was developing, despite the slight rise in unemployment last month. He said that if seasonal factors were disregarded, the number of jobless had actually fallen.

He added that he expected the average number of unemployed for the year 2000 to be around 72,000, dropping to 65,000 next year.

swissinfo with agencies


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