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Business sector employment continues to slip month-on-month in February

The number of employees in Hungary's business sector, which includes private as well as state-owned companies, rose from twelve months earlier, but fell in a month-on-month comparison for the third month in a row, fresh data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH) reveal.

The number of employees at businesses employing at least 5 people rose 50,900, or 2.9% in the twelve months to February, to 1,823,000.

The number was down, however, 5,600 from January. The decline slowed gradually but the February number of business sector employees was still 31,300 below the previous peak reached in November.

The figures are unadjusted, meaning that part of the drop could reflect seasonal or one-off factors.

Business sector employment started to grow in a year-on-year comparison in May 2010 after declining steadily from December 2008 and April 2010, KSH data show. Employment in the sector averaged 1,827,000 for the full year in 2010, edging up 0.3% from 2009, when the number dropped 6.7% because of the crisis.

In a month-on-month comparison, the number of new hires started to climb in March 2010. The monthly increases were the steepest, at 1.3% in April and May last year, then slowed to 0.3% in July, before practically leveling out between August and November.

Between August 2008 and February 2010 there were only three monthly rises registered in business sector employment.