Swiss Unemployment Rises

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased to 2.7 percent from 2.6 percent the previous month, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said today., 12/9/2008 5:41:32 AM

The seasonally adjusted number of people without jobs increased by 2,900 to 105,732.

Swiss unemployment may rise further in the coming months as company’s brace for a recession and banks’ reduce costs to weather turmoil on financial markets. Rieter Holding AG, the Swiss supplier of car interiors to Honda Motor Co., said yesterday it will cut working hours as the global slowdown hurts demand for textile machinery and auto parts.

Credit Suisse Group, the country’s second-biggest bank, said on Dec. 4 that it plans to cut 11 percent of its global workforce, including 650 jobs in Switzerland. Zurich-based UBS AG has announced 9,000 job cuts from its global staff since the financial crisis began.

The Swiss economy failed to growth for the first time in four years in the third quarter. It will probably shrink next year, central bank President Jean-Pierre Roth said Dec. 3. Swiss manufacturing shrank last month at the fastest pace since at least 1995 and leading indicators dropped to the lowest level in more than five years, signaling an economic contraction.

The Swiss National Bank has shaved 175 basis points from its benchmark rate since early October as the country’s main trading partners slipped into recession and credit market tensions failed to abate. Roth said the SNB will use all means at its disposal” to limit the impact of the global financial crisis on the Swiss economy.

The number of people looking for jobs rose 5.8 percent last month to 160,144. Companies had 11,927 open jobs in November, down 1,619 from the previous month. In unadjusted terms, the percentage of people without work rose to 2.7 percent from 2.5 percent.

Swiss Unemployment Rises