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Swiss unemployment rises in December

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15:14 CET+01:00

Switzerland's unemployment rate rose to 3.3 percent in December, an increase of 0.2 percentage points from the month before, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said on Monday.

The unemployed figure rose by 9,553 from the preceding month to 130,662.

Compared to 2010, however, this was a decrease of 17,974. In 2010 the unemployment rate was 3.8 percent.

The annual average unemployment rate, which still has to be finalised, was 3.1 percent in 2011, 0.8 percentage points lower than in 2010.

Serge Gaillard, head of Seco's labour department told the Swiss news agency SDA that a sharp decline in unemployment after the financial crisis ended due to the strong Swiss franc.

"Since October, we have observed a steady increase," said Gaillard.

Seco expects to the trend to continue in 2012.

"We expect that the seasonally adjusted unemployment will rise until the year end," said Gaillard.

This he said was due to the persistence of the strong franc and the economic uncertainty in Europe. He said economists were looking at an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in Switzerland for 2012.

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