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Slovenia jobless rate hits highest level in a decade

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(LJUBLJANA) - Slovenia's unemployment rate surged in January to its highest level since the country joined the European Union in 2004, official data showed Tuesday, as the eurozone country struggles to get out of recession.

The country's statistics office said the number of registered unemployed reached 14.2 percent of the workforce.

There were nearly 130,00 people unemployed in January, compared to just more than 124,000 in December 2013, the statisticians said.

Slovenia, once a star newcomer to the European Union and eurozone, has been in recession since 2011 and last year there were fears that it would need a bailout.

The country managed however to recapitalise its top banks in December without becoming the sixth eurozone state to seek international aid.

With the government pushing forward on reforms and a recovery in the eurozone, Slovenia's economy is also expected to rebound and official forecasts see growth at 0.5 percent this year.

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