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Hungary jobless rate drops to 10.5% in May-July

The average unemployment rate in Hungary was 10.5% in the 15-74 age group in May-July, down from 10.9% in April-June, and down from 10.8% in the same period a year earlier, data published by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) on Tuesday show.

Commenting the annual drop KSH noted that the change was within statistical error.

There were 458,800 unemployed in Hungary in the 15-74 age group on average in May-July, down 13,400 from April-June and down 4,400 from a year earlier.

After rising to surpass 500,000 -- a new peak -- in January-March 2012, unemployment gradually fell back and now reached the level around which it fluctuated between April-June and October-December of 2011. It still exceeded the level before the 2008 autumn crisis by more than 100,000.

18.0% those unemployed were in the 15-24 age group, only limitedly present on the labour market. The unemployment rate for this age group was 28.1%, up 0.2 percentage points from April-June and up 3.0 percentage points from a year earlier.

KSH said 46.8% of the unemployed had been looking for work for a year or more. The average time the unemployed spent seeking jobs was 17.8 months.

KSH noted that data from the State Employment Service (ÁFSz) show there were 527,600 registered job seekers at the end of July, down 4.8% from a year earlier.

The number of employed in the 15-74 age group averaged 3,907,600 in May-July, rising 31,400 from April-June, and up 75,500 from one year earlier. Almost two-thirds of the increase compared to April-June and nearly three-quarter of the annual increase reflected rising employment of women.

The number of employed in the age group exceeded 3.9 million for the first time since the autumn of 2008.

The employment rate in the 15-74 age group rose to 51.0pc from 50.6% in the previous three-month period, and rose 1.1 percentage points in one year.

Within the 15-64 age group, the number of employed rose 30,700 from April-June and 70,100 in one year, and employment rate in the age group rose to 57.6% from 57.2% in the previous three-month period and from 56.1% in May-July 2011.

The "employed" in these statistics include people with all forms of employment contracts who have worked more than one hour a week during the period or are on sick leave or paid absence.