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Swiss employment outlook improves after Q4 dip

* Swiss employment falls 0.1 pct yr/yr in Q4

* Manufacturers continue to shed jobs

* Employment outlook improves as economy recovers

ZURICH, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The employment outlook in Switzerland is improving, data showed on Thursday, after the number of jobs dipped only minimally at the end of 2009, showing that the economic recovery may reach the labour market soon.

Non-farm payrolls fell by 0.1 percent year-on-year in the last three months of 2009 to 3.96 million, the Federal Statistics Office said.

However, payrolls were 0.1 percent higher compared with the third quarter when also adjusted for seasonal factors, and the statistics office’s index for the employment outlook rose by 0.4 percent.

“The indicators point to a rise in employment in the first quarter,” the office said. The seasonally adjusted index for vacancies pointed to a positive development in the industrial sector as well as in the service sector.

The overall index of vacancies fell by 11 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2008 but was 7.5 percent higher then in the third quarter of 2009 when adjusted for seasonal swings.

Switzerland emerged from the worst recession in decades in the third quarter of last year, which it weathered better than some other European countries, thanks in part to resilient private consumption.

Several economic indicators have pointed to further recovery, and while economists expect joblessness to peak later this year, the unemployment numbers have remained well below the dire forecasts made last year.

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