ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Unemployment in Slovakia down 0.3% to 17.4% in April

The unemployment rate in Slovakia was 17.4% at the end of April, a drop of 0.3 of a percentage point from the previous month, reported the National Labour Office on May 21. The Labour Office pinned the improvement on seasonal demand for labour.

The number of registered unemployed people dropped 1.4% from March to 462,393. However, this indicator was 27% higher compared with the same period of 1998.

Of Slovakia's eight districts, the Košice district with 23.79%, and the Prešov region with 23.78% topped the unemployment chart. The district of Bratislava, at 5.95%, had the lowest unemployment rate.

The number of job seekers living on unemployment benefits decreased by 7,328 people from March to 145,396, leaving the Labour Office, which distributed benefits, with a 547 million crown surplus. The office had posted a deficit in each of the first three months of the year.

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