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Unemployment to Stay Flat in 2011, Ministry Projects

Ljubljana, 15 December (STA) - The Ministry of Labour, the Family and Social Affairs anticipates that the trend of rising unemployment will stop in 2011, with the jobless number bottoming out at around 103,000.

Labour Ministry State Secretary Anja Kopac Mrak said that the number of unemployed will remain on par with the average for this year.

She explained that the forecasts were based on the studies of the Institute for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD), a government think-tank.

Currently there around 104,000 unemployed persons in Slovenia, which is "in line with forecasts from the end of 2009, when we predicted that the jobless number would stand at around 105,000," said Kopac Mrak.

Data for November show that 103,831 people were out of a job, which is 8.8% more than in the same month a year ago.

Kopac Mrak said that unemployment trends in Slovenia did not stand out compared to the situation elsewhere in Europe.

The labour force survey unemployment rate in Slovenia currently stand at 7.6%, which is 2 percentage points better than the EU average.

The state secretary explained that while jobs are still being lost in Slovenia, increasingly more jobs are being created.

From January to November of this year, there were 52,300 hirings of unemployed persons, which is 17.2% more than in the same period last year.

This is linked to restructuring in the economy, as jobs are being shed in manufacturing, mining and construction, while new jobs are being created in services and child and elderly care.

According to IMAD's predictions, Slovenia should see the unemployment trend turn for the better in 2012 as the economy continues its recovery.

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