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Unemployment rate rose to 13.37 percent in September, highest since 2005

The number of unemployed Slovaks grew by 0.25 percentage points month-on-month in September 2011 to 13.37 percent, the Labour, Social Affairs and Family Centre (ÚPSVaR) announced on Thursday, October 20.

The number of unemployed Slovaks grew by 0.25 percentage points month-on-month in September 2011 to 13.37 percent, the Labour, Social Affairs and Family Centre (ÚPSVaR) announced on Thursday, October 20.

There were more than 390,500 job applicants registered at job centres in September, with many school leavers adding to the statistics (around a quarter of newly-registered applicants). The number of people looking for a job was up by almost 6,800 when compared to August. If people who are not immediately available for work (such as those on sick leave or living abroad long term) were included, the rate would reach 14.64 percent, up 0.24 percentage points month-on-month.

The number is the highest in six years, UniCredit bank analyst David Dereník commented, as quoted by the TASR newswire. According to Poštová Banka analyst Jana Glasová, the increase can partly be attributed to the large numbers of school leavers joining the ranks of the unemployed. The number of school leavers registered as unemployed in September was 34,025, representing 8.7 percent of all 390,000 registered job applicants. However, the total number of unemployed school leavers dropped by 3.6 percent year-on-year. According to Dereník, however, this figure is misleading, as current demographics show a 5-percent decrease in the total numbers of people in the 15-19 age group year-on-year.

Is seems that no positive change has been reflected in the first months in which the amended Labour Code has been effective, the Sme daily wrote on Friday, October 21. The Labour Ministry led by SaS nominee Jozef Mihál said that the amendment needs more time. Analysts warned that the amendment could, in fact, have helped increase the unemployment rate as companies may have delayed layoffs until new severance rules became valid, making it simpler and cheaper to dismiss employees, Michal Páleník of the Employment Institute told Sme.

Sources: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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