Swiss March Unemployment Holds at Highest Level in 2 Yrs

Swiss unemployment held at the highest level in two years in March even as the economy showed signs of stabilizing.

The jobless rate, adjusted for seasonal swings, was unchanged at 3.1 percent, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said in an e-mailed statement today. That’s in line with the median estimate of 12 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The unadjusted jobless rate fell to 3.2 percent from 3.4 percent.

The Swiss National Bank, which capped the franc at 1.20 per euro in September 2011 to fight deflation and protect Switzerland from a recession, expects the economy to grow as much as 1.5 percent this year. Swiss investor confidence fell for the first time in six months in March on renewed uncertainty about Europe’s fiscal crisis, signaling the economy may struggle to pick up speed in coming the months.

The number of job openings declined by 13 to 16,022 in March, today’s report showed. A total of 194,224 people were looking for a job, 6,271 fewer than in the previous month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Bosley in Zurich at cbosley1@bloomberg.net

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

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