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Unemployment hits 19.3 percent in first quarter of 2004

FOLLOWING a two-year downward trend in Slovakia, the number of unemployed increased by 6 percent to 515,500 people in the first three months in 2004. The average unemployment rate rose by 0.9 percentage points to 19.3 percent, reported the Slovak Statistics Office.

The jobless rate increased mostly among people with an unspecified previous job (by 12,100 people) and people whose last job was in industry (10,500 people), followed by healthcare and social services (4,600 people), real estate and the leasing sector (3,300 people), public administration and defence (3,100), and those who have not yet been employed (4,000). However, the number of unemployed also increased in agriculture, education, hotels and restaurants, financial mediation, transport, post offices, and telecommunications, the news wire SITA reported.

On the other hand, the jobless rate dropped among people who last worked with other social services (9,500) and in construction (2,100).

According to data provided by the Slovak Statistics Office, the number of working people in the Slovak economy over the first quarter of 2004 moderately decreased year on year by 0.1 percent to reach 2.1 million people.

Growth resulted in particular from the increase in businessmen without employees, whose number swelled by 18.6 percent, and a 15.4 percent increase in the category of businessmen with employees.

The number of members of entrepreneurial households assisting in family businesses has surged by 27.3 percent since a year ago.

Out of the total number of employed people, 55.8 percent worked in the service sector; in industry it was 29.4 percent. People employed in the construction sector made up 9.2 percent of the employed, and agriculture amounted to 5 percent.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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