The seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased to 3.3 percent from 3.1 percent in February, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said today. That’s the highest rate since August 2006.
Switzerland’s jobless rate is set to climb further in the coming quarters as financial markets losses prompt banks to reduce costs and a drop in orders for machines and chemicals hurt manufacturers. Swiss corporate bankruptcies surged 44 percent last month as companies struggled to adjust to a contracting economy.
Manufacturing in Switzerland shrank for a seventh month in March and leading indicators dropped to a record low, signaling further economic contraction. The country’s economy will contract this year by up to 3 percent, the most since 1975, the central bank estimates.
The number of people looking for jobs rose 3.1 percent to 191,992 in March, according to today’s report. Companies had 13,057 job vacancies in March, up 413 from the previous month. In unadjusted terms, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.4 percent.