Swiss Unemployment Increased in October as Economy Weakened

Swiss unemployment increased for the first time in six months in October, suggesting companies eliminated jobs to weather a deepening European economic slump.

The jobless rate, adjusted for seasonal swings, rose to 3 percent from 2.9 percent in the previous month, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said in an e-mailed statement today. That’s the highest since March 2011 and in line with the median forecast of 12 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The unadjusted jobless rate rose to 2.9 percent.

The Swiss economy is faltering as the euro area’s fiscal crisis and waning global growth erode export demand, forcing companies to lower costs. Gross domestic product unexpectedly declined in the second quarter and Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said on Nov. 6 that “growth in the third quarter probably disappointed.” The Swiss government will release third-quarter gross domestic product on Nov. 29.

The number of job openings fell by 44 to 15,726 in October, today’s report showed. Some 178,532 people were looking for a job, 7,665 more than in the previous month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Zurich at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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