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Jobless rate in June the lowest since 1996

THE RATE of registered unemployed in Slovakia fell to 11.09 percent in June, its lowest level since 1996, Labour Minister Ľudovít Kaník said at a press conference on July 20.

"Slovakia is experiencing the most dramatic fall in the number of unemployed among the EU member states," Kaník said.

The number of unemployed fell by 5,306 month-on-month and by 74,000 people year-on-year. There were 287,000 unemployed people available for work in June, the TASR news agency wrote.

According to Kanik, the Slovak welfare system is no trapping people in unemployment, but is acting as a "trampoline" that encourages them to return to work as soon as possible.

Statistics confirm these statements. While in June 2004, 80,000 unemployed received unemployment benefit, in June 2005 only 30,000 people received these benefits.

Jobless people receive full unemployment benefit for only a six-month period. When this period expires, their benefits are cut.

Although short-term unemployment has fallen significantly, the long-term unemployment rate is decreasing more slowly. The main reason for this is that the long-term unemployed mostly lack qualifications.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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