Annual jobless rate still climbing
Switzerland’s unemployment rate rose by 0.2 points to 3.9 per cent in 2004 – up from 3.7 per cent in 2003.
But for the first time in four years, there were fewer people out of work in December than in January.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said that although the unemployment rate decreased from a high of 4.3 per cent in January, the average rate was still higher than in 2003.
An average 153,091 people received unemployment benefits every month during 2004 - an increase of 5.1 per cent over the previous year.
In December 158,416 people were listed as out of work, 6,000 more than the previous month.
Seco said the unemployment rate fell in the first half of the year but rose during the second half due to seasonal factors.
But Seco noted that the rate was lower in December than in January for the first time in four years.
According to Seco, the number of people actively looking for a job followed a similar trend.
A drop in numbers in the first half of 2004 was followed by a moderate increase from August until October.
A stronger increase in November and December was due to seasonal factors.
Canton Geneva suffers from the highest rate of unemployment in Switzerland, standing at 7.3 per cent. The jobless rate in Zurich is 4.3 per cent.
4% of workers in Switzerland - 158,416 people - were registered as unemployed in December .
The 2004 annual unemployment rate stood at 3.9% - up 0.2 points on the previous year.
In December nearly 228,000 people were registered as actively looking for a job.
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