Slovakia's unemployment rate moved lower for a second straight month in March 2013, edging down to 14.68% from 14.71% in February, data from the Centre for Labour, Social Affairs and Family showed. A year ago the jobless rate stood at 13.69%. The number of unemployed Slovaks ready to take up a job immediately decreased to 396,252 last month from 397,070 in February.
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-driven economy, fuelled by auto and electronics production, at the end of 2008. Before that, unemployment hit a record low of 7.36% in August 2008.
We expect that the Slovak unemployment rate will remain high this year, as the country’s economic growth is sluggish, hit by austerity measures and subdued external demand, and does not provide for creation of new jobs.
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