Unemployment tops 15 % in December

Interfax, 8 January 2004, 08:24:00 GMT

Slovak unemployment climbed to 15.61 % in December, according to preliminary figures from the National Employment Office (NUP).

The figure is up from 14.19 % in November, but down from 17.45 % in December 2002.

The NUP has promised more precise data by the second half of the month.

The number of registered job seekers grew 7.87 % month/month, but fell 10.08 % yr/yr to 453,282.

Unemployment offices registered 48,666 new job seekers in December, up 20 % from November and 27.11 % from December 2002.

Unemployment fell in Slovakia last year due to stricter conditions for registering, but the trend came to a stop late in the year as seasonal jobs ended.