Unemployment in Slovakia rose by 0.61 percentage points year-on-year in November (0.25 p.p. month-on-month) to 13.94 percent, the Labour, Social Affairs and Family Centre (ÚPSVaR) announced on Thursday, December 20.
The labour offices registered 377,000 job seekers immediately available to take up a new job in November, 21,000 up y-o-y, the TASR newswire quoted the ÚPSVaR report. In total, there were almost 420,000 unemployed in November, but many of them were not immediately available to start work for a variety of reasons (recovery from accidents or illness or late-term pregnancies, for example).
In regional terms, the highest unemployment rate was in Prešov region (20.01 percent), ahead of Banská Bystrica (19.99 percent) and Košice (18.99 percent). Among districts, Rimavská Sobota district - with a large Roma population - had the highest jobless rate in Slovakia at 34.65 percent. Conversely, Bratislava I district had the lowest unemployment rate - 4.15 percent in November.
The Sme daily wrote in its Friday issue that the unemployment rate was at its highest since May 2004. Compared with October this year, 6,800 more unemployed people reported with the labour offices. Marián Jusko of the Republican Union of Employers told Sme that if a company does not have orders secured, it is cheaper to lay workers off before the end of 2012. Every employee who worked for a company for longer than two years is eligible to receive both severance pay and a notice period. Labour Ministry spokesman Michal Stuška admitted that companies which considered dismissing employees by February 2013 might do so two months earlier. He stressed, however, that the main reason for high unemployment is the poor economic situation in the region. Economists expect the unemployment rate to increase to 14 percent in the upcoming months.
(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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