The seasonally adjusted number of people without jobs increased by 1,204 to 102,319 from September, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said today. The jobless rate held at 2.6 percent.
Swiss companies may pare their workforces further in coming months as the financial-market crisis pushes up lending costs and a global slowdown hits order books. Swiss leading indicators declined to the lowest in more than five years in October. The Swiss central bank yesterday unexpectedly trimmed borrowing costs to counter a deepening economic slowdown.
The Zurich-based SNB said that the economic outlook has ``deteriorated more severely than anticipated'' and the Swiss economy may fail to grow in 2009. The International Monetary Fund yesterday predicted economic contracts in the U.S., Japan and the economy of the 15 euro nations next year.
Adding to signs of slowdown, Swiss manufacturing contracted for a second straight month in October and exports declined for the first time in almost four years in September.
The unadjusted jobless rate rose to 2.5 percent in October from 2.4 percent in the previous month partly as weather-sensitive industries such as forestry and agriculture reduced their workforce. The number of job vacancies fell by 586 to 13,546 from September, today's report showed.