The average monthly unemployment rate in Switzerland last year was 2.6 percent, the lowest figure in ten years, according to figures published by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) on Tuesday.

The 2017 monthly average unemployment rate was 3.2 percent while in 2016 that figure was 3.3 percent.

In a statement, SECO said the 2018 figures showed the Swiss economy and job market were both in robust health.

The figures show that the monthly average for the number of people registered as out of work with the country’s job offices last year was 118,103, down 25,039 (or 17.5 percent) on 2017.

Meanwhile, the average monthly youth unemployment rate in 2018 was 2.4 percent, down 0.7 percent on a year earlier. The same rate for people aged 50 and over also dipped slightly to 2.5 percent.

December figures

The jobless rate for December was 2.7 percent, or 2.4 percent after seasonal adjustment.

Of the 119,661 people registered as looking for work at the end of last month, 51.1 percent were Swiss while 48.9 percent were foreign nationals.

A total of 15,993 people – or 13.4 percent of all registered job seekers – had been unemployed for at least 12 months.

The SECO job figures do not count people who are out of work but not registered at government job offices.

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