Swiss January Unemployment at Highest Level in Almost 2 Years

Swiss unemployment held at the highest level in almost two years in January 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. It revised the December reading up from an initial estimate of 3 percent. Today’s number is in line with the median estimate of 11 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The unadjusted jobless rate advanced to 3.4 percent.

Switzerland’s economy returned to growth in the third quarter, expanding at the fastest pace since 2010 as exports soared. Last month, consumer confidence climbed to the highest level since April 2011 and Swiss manufacturing output expanded for the first time in 17 months.

The number of job openings advanced by 837 to 14,559 in January, today’s report showed. Some 201,776 people were looking for a job, 4,878 more than in the previous month.

The Swiss government expects gross domestic product to rise 1.3 percent this year, after growing 1 percent in 2012, according to a Dec. 13 forecast by its so-called expert group.

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