Slovakia jobless rate eases to 13.69% in March 2012.

By bne IntelliNews April 20, 2012
Slovakia's unemployment rate moved slightly lower in March 2012 after a four-month rising streak, data from the Centre for Labour, Social Affairs and Family showed. The jobless rate eased to 13.69% last month from 13.76% in February, when it reached its highest level since June 2004. On an annual basis, the jobless rate rose by 0.56pps. The number of unemployed Slovaks ready to take up a job immediately edged 0.5% lower m/m to 369,845 in March. The inflow of jobseekers in March alone was 21,700, compared to 26,200 in the previous 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 further economic slowdown this year will boost Slovak unemployment even higher, as levels above 14% are not excluded.

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