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BUSINESS BRIEFS

Jobless to number 550,000 by January

The National Labour Office predicts that by next January the number of jobless people in Slovakia will rise to a record 550,000 people from the current 500,000 as government works programmes come to an end.

Slovakia's current unemployment rate is hovering at just under 19%. Some regions of the country however have unemployment rates of as much as 26%.

The government introduced public works programmes last year to bring down the unemployment rate, but economic analysts have said the plan amounts to little more than getting people off the dole for several months before they return.

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