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Unemployment rate 7.5% in November, 2006-January 2007

The average number of unemployed was 317,500 in November, 2006-January, 2007 resulting in an unemployment rate of 7.5%, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported on Wednesday.

The unemployment rate was unchanged from the preceding three-month period and was just the same as in November, 2005-January 2006. Three-month average number of employed was 3.940 million, 13 thousands less than in the preceding 3-month. Hungary's unemployment rate surpassed the 7% mark in January-March 2005 and has been gradually rising to fluctuate between 7.2% and 7.8% last year. The rise reflected both a nominal increase in the number of unemployed and a gradual rise in Hungary's low activity rate to exceed 55% since last spring. According to Eurostat's harmonized unemployment figures, Hungary's jobless rate was 7.9% in December (the middle of the three-month period), well above the respective 7.5% in EU-27, EU-15's rate of 6.9%.

The activity rate was 55.1% in the three-month to January, down 0.2% points from October-December, but 0.5% points more than a year earlier. In November-January , 19.6% of the unemployed were between 15 and 24 years of age, down from 21.0% in the preceding three-month period. The unemployment rate in this age group was 18.6% in the period, down 0.2% points from a year earlier. Long-term unemployment rate rose 0.8 percentage points from October-December, with 48.2% of all unemployed searching for work for one year or longer in October-December. The average time spent out of work was 16.7 months, up from 16.6 months in September-November. (Bloomberg)