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Swiss unemployment falls for fifth month

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Swiss unemployment falls for fifth month
10:20 CEST+02:00
Switzerland's jobless rate fell in June for the fifth month in a row, dropping to 2.9 percent from three percent in May, although the level of unemployment remained higher than for the same period a year earlier.

At the end of June, a total of 126,498 people were registered for unemployment benefits, 4,792 fewer than in the previous month, according to a report released on Monday by the state secretariat for the economy (Seco).

By comparison, the total registered for benefits was 10.1 percent higher than in June 2012.

The number of registered job seekers nationwide dipped in June from the previous month by 5,206 to 179,806.

In cantons across the country the unemployment rate either declined or remained the same, with the lowest rate recorded in Obwalden (0.8 percent, down from 0.9 percent in May) and the highest rate in Geneva (5.4 percent, down from 5.5 percent).

The rate dropped to three percent in Zurich (from 3.1 percent), to 2.1 percent in Bern (from 2.2 percent), to 3.5 percent in Basel-City (from 3.6 percent) and to 4.7 percent in Vaud (from 4.9 percent).

Graubünden recorded the biggest reduction in unemployment in percentage terms, falling to 1.5 percent in June from 1.9 percent the previous month, followed by Valais (3.3 percent, down from 3.7 percent).

Overall unemployment among Swiss citizens dipped to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent, while the rate for foreigners, which is typically much higher, also declined to 5.5 percent from 5.8 percent, Seco said.

The level for foreigners from outside Europe was also lower at 7.8 percent, down from eight percent.

The continued recovery in job figures comes as the Swiss economy continues to outpace that of its European neighbours.

The Swiss National Bank said last month it expected weakness to show in the second quarter of this year but that it still expected GDP to grow for 2013 by one to 1.5 percent despite “high risks” to the Swiss economy.

The risks come largely from the international environment, the central bank said. 

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