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Hungary jobless rate keeps crawling up, hits 7.5% in July-Sept

Hungary's rate of unemployment rose to 7.5% in July-September from 7.4% in the previous three-month period, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) has reported on Thursday.

A seven-year high in jobless rate was registered in December-February at 7.8%. The jobless rate has edged up 0.1% every three-month period since April-June. The KSH said the number of unemployed was 318,300 and the number of employed totaled 3.948 million in the period examined. The latter figure compares with 3.927 million in the same period a year earlier. The number of unemployed rose by 3,800 from June-August and was up by 9,700 from July-September 2005. According to data provided by Eurostat, the statistics agency of the European Union, the jobless rate in the old EU (15 members) was 7.2% in August, 7.8% in the enlarged EU (25 nations) and 7.6% in Hungary.

The labor market activity of the population aged 15-74 was 55.3% in the period examined, up from 55.2% in the previous three months and 54.9% in the corresponding period a year earlier. The employment rate came in at 51.1%, unchanged from June-August and up from the same period of 2005 (50.9%). The jobless rate for the 15-24 year old, representing 22.3% of all unemployed, was 20.4%, up from 19.5% in the previous three months but unchanged from the reading in the same period last year. The KSH said 46.8% of all unemployed have been seeking jobs for a year or more. The average duration of joblessness came to 16.4 months, compared with 16.8 months in the previous 3-months period. (