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Unemployment hits 19.3 percent

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, the Slovak Statistics Office reported.

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 the healthcare and social services sector (4,600 people), real estate and the leasing sector (3,300 people), public administration and defence (3,100 people), and those who have not yet been employed (4,000 people). 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 people) and in construction (2,100 people).

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