Swiss Unemployment Declines in August

Swiss unemployment declined in August, keeping the jobless rate at the lowest level in five years as companies added workers to meet orders.

The number of people without work fell by 1,574 to 106,295, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said on September 6. The jobless rate held at 2.7 percent when adjusted for seasonal swings, the same rate as in July. Economists expected the rate to be unchanged, according to the median estimate of 17 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

The Swiss economy is showing few signs of cooling from the fastest expansion since the turn of the decade as hiring bolsters consumer demand. Swiss manufacturing growth accelerated at a faster pace than economists expected in August and a gauge measuring employment rose to a record high.

"The employment outlook for the next few months is extremely favorable,'' said Rajel Khambhaita, an economist at Informa Global Markets. "It's hard to argue that hiring is going to taper off when companies are investing so much on capital.''

Less Vacancies

Unadjusted for seasonal swings, the jobless rate rose to 2.6 percent, the first increase since December 2006, from 2.5 percent in July, today's release showed. The number of job openings declined by 412 to 13,091 from the previous month.

"The numbers are slightly weaker than expected, but still positive,'' said Reto Huenerwadel, senior economist at UBS AG in Zurich. "Employment in manufacturing is strong.''

Swiss manufacturing growth accelerated in August as companies boosted output to meet rising orders, a survey of purchasing managers showed this week.

Swiss International Air Lines AG, which is owned by Deutsche Lufthansa AG, expects to add 600 workers by the end of this year after expanding its fleet by 11 aircraft, spokeswoman Andrea Kreuzer said in an interview yesterday. UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group, Switzerland's two largest banks, have also increased their workforce this year.

Swiss Unemployment Declines in August

9/6/2007 1:31:18 PM