Swiss unemployment reaches 5-year high

10th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Unemployment in Switzerland soared to a five-year high of 4.2 percent in November, official data showed on Wednesday.

Geneva -- Unemployment in Switzerland soared to a five-year high point of 4.2 percent in November, official data showed on Wednesday.

The number of people registered as jobless reached 163,950, up 5,812 from October, when the unemployment rate was at 4.0 percent.

November's jobless rate was at a level last recorded in February 2004.

The proportion of unemployed people was highest among foreigners, with an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent in November. Comparatively, Swiss nationals posted a jobless rate of 3.0 percent.

Unemployment is expected to reach an average of 3.8 percent in 2009 with a peak of 5.2 percent in 2010 that would rival highs last reached in 1997, according to government forecasts.

The Swiss government said earlier in December that it would halve from 2010 its quotas of permits for workers from outside Europe in a bid to curb unemployment.

It also said it would decide in 2010 whether to activate a safeguard clause that allows Bern to impose temporary restrictions on Europeans working in Switzerland in specific circumstances.

The clause was built into a deal with the European Union that allows European workers to take up jobs in Switzerland without being subject to the work permit quota system.

AFP / Expatica

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