Slovakia's unemployment rate slightly increased to 13.61% in January 2014 from 13.5% the month before, data from the Centre for Labour, Social Affairs and Family showed. In January 2013 the jobless rate stood at 14.8%.
The number of unemployed Slovaks ready to take up a job immediately rose to 367,221 in January from 364,225 in the previous month.
IntelliNews comment: Slovakia's jobless rate remains one of the highest in Europe and affects negatively the country's economic recovery. 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. The government hopes to reduce by 2016 the unemployment rate in the country to the euro zone average, which stood at 12% in December 2013.
We expect economic growth this year to strengthen and support the creation of new jobs, which in turn may lead to a fall in the jobless rate.
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