Slovakia jobless rate eases to 13.4% in April 2012.

By bne IntelliNews May 22, 2012
Slovakia's unemployment rate moved lower for the second month in a row in April 2012 after reaching in February its highest level since June 2004, data from the Centre for Labour, Social Affairs and Family showed. The jobless rate eased to 13.4% last month from 13.69% in March. On an annual basis, the jobless rate rose by 0.46pps. The number of unemployed Slovaks ready to take up a job immediately fell 2.1% m/m to 362,180 in April. The Centre for Labour, Social Affairs and Family said it expects the jobless rate to remain unchanged m/m or to rise slightly this month. IntelliNews comment: Slovakia has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe and it continues to be one of the most serious problems in the country. High jobless rates have troubled the nation of 5.4 million since the global economic crisis hit its export-oriented economy, fuelled by auto and electronics production, at the end of 2008. In August 2008, unemployment hit a record low of 7.36%. Layoffs at the public administration, as part of the governments austerity measures, have also deteriorated the labour market. The average jobless rate for 2011 reached 13.16%, up from 12.48% in 2010. We expect that the projected economic slowdown this year will boost Slovak unemployment even higher, as levels above 14% are not excluded.

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