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Unemployment in Switzerland fell in March to 3.4%

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The unemployment rate fell in March to 3.4% from 3.6% in February. Last month, nearly 158,000 people were registered as unemployed with the regional employment offices (ORP). That’s 10,000 fewer registrants over a month.

Over one year, unemployment increased by 22,344 people (+ 16.5%), according to statements from the State Secretariat for the Economy (SECO) published on Friday. In March 2020, the unemployment rate stood at 2.9%, before remaining above the 3% mark in the following months, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Decrease in all cantons

In French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino, the monthly decline is most marked. The unemployment rate fell in March to 4.4%, after 4.8% in February. In German-speaking Switzerland, the proportion of unemployed fell to 3.0%, after 3.2%. It fell by 0.1 percentage point for women (3.2%) and 0.3 percentage point for men (3.6%).

The decrease is more marked for foreigners (6.2% against 6.6%) than for the Swiss (2.4% after 2.5%).

Last month both youth and 50-64 unemployment fell. Concerning the former, their number fell by 10.2% to 15,561 people and for the latter, it fell by 3.8% to 45,486 people.

On the other hand, over one year, the number of young people affected increased by almost 7% and for 50-64 year olds, it exploded by almost 24%.

Explosion of short-time working in January

In March, the total number of registered job seekers stood at 253,939 people, almost 5,800 fewer than the previous month. Compared to the same month last year, their number jumped 18.7%.

The number of vacancies increased by 6,500 to 45,182, of which 32,000 were subject to the obligation to advertise.

In January 2021, partial unemployment affected 399,667 people, an increase of 36% over one month. Almost 12,800 more companies used it, for a total of 47,460 across the country. The number of lost work hours soared by half to 28.9 million hours. A year earlier, partial unemployment was only in place in 178 companies, affecting 3,700 people and leading to the loss of just over 189,100 hours of work.

During the month of January, 3,356 people exhausted their entitlement to unemployment insurance benefits.

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