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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Jobless number almost half million in June

The official unemployment rate in Slovakia reached 17.68% at the end of June, 1.16% up from May and 4.17% higher than one year ago. Since the official rate measures only those unemployed who are immediately available for work, the actual unemployment rate may be over 18.3%, according to Slovak media.

The number of registered unemployed people grew by 30,658 (6.6%) in June to reach 496,038. This result, which is 32.4% higher than in June 1998, was caused principally be the almost 30,000 new school graduates who entered the labour force last month.

The National Labour Office, which released these figures, said that the jobless situation has worsened rapidly in regions of Slovakia that used to be economically strong. The unemployment rate in the region of Trenčín, for example, is showing the most dynamic growth, followed by the Banská Bystrica region.

In June, 126,118 persons were living on unemployment benefits, up 27.6% from June last year. For every free job there were 28 registered jobless.

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