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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Number of people receiving social benefits up 27.3 % in 1998

The number of needy people receiving social benefits totaled 222,655 at the end of 1998, up 27.3% in comparison with the previous year. The average monthly number of those taking social benefits was 191,842 in 1998, up 16.1% year-on-year.

The average monthly benefit per person was 3,182 Slovak crowns ($75), up 36.1% when compared with 1997.

The National Labour Office reported that 87% of those receiving benefits were unemployed. Over 21% of those receving support came from the eastern Košice region, despite the fact that only 6.5% of Slovakia's population lives there; 17% of benefit-takers came from the Banská Bystrica region and 16% were from the Prešov region. The Trenčín and Bratislava regions reported the lowest numbers, taking 8% and 3% of social welfare benefits respectively.

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