Slovakia jobless rate hits new record of 13.69% in January 2012.

By bne IntelliNews February 21, 2012
Slovakia's unemployment rate reached a new record in January 2012, hitting 13.69%, up from 13.59% in December, data from the Centre for Labour, Social Affairs and Family showed. The January jobless rate reached its highest level since July 2004. On an annual basis, the jobless rate rose by 0.71pps. The number of unemployed Slovaks ready to take up a job immediately rose 2.1% m/m to 369,948 last month. The inflow of jobseekers in January alone was 35,313, up 32% from 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. Layoffs at the public administration, as part of the governments austerity measures, also deteriorated the labour market. The average jobless rate for 2011 reached 13.16%, up from 12.48% in 2010. The high unemployment affects negatively household consumption and hence the economic growth, which is further hit by dampened demand on Slovakias main export markets. 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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