Like reading tea leaves.


Switzerland faces a 3.3 per cent unemployment rate this year, and a 4.3 per cent rate in 2010, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), as reported by the Tages-Anzeiger daily newspaper.

"That means, on average, we will have approximately 60,000 more unemployed [in 2009] compared to just under 108,000 unemployed at the end of November 2008," SECO Director Jean-Daniel Gerber said.

Attempting to forecast anything beyond 2010 is like reading tea leaves, he added. "We do not know what will happen with the U.S. market and how the financial crisis will be borne."

When asked if the sharp increase in unemployment is due to the country's influx of foreign workers, Gerber said that on the contrary, immigration has supported the growth of the Swiss economy.

"It is the freedom of movement that has allowed our economy, in recent...

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