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Hungary jobless rate up at 11.1% in Nov-Jan

The average unemployment rate in Hungary was 11.1% in the 15-74 age group in November-January, up from 10.7% in October-December, but falling slightly from 11.2% in the same period a year earlier, Central Statistics Office (KSH) data showed.

The jobless rate was the highest recorded since 11.4% measured in February-April last year. 

The pattern was similar one year ago, when the moving average rate rose from the last quarter. The rate then increased steadily until 11.6% in January-March last year before dropping to hover between 10.8% and 10.6% for the remainder of the year.

In a change from earlier practice, KSH will publish jobless figures for the 15-64 age group only quarterly in the future rather than publishing the three-month moving averages each month, KSH told MTI. 

There were 474,700 unemployed Hungarians in the 15-74 age group in the three months between November 2011 and January 2012, 15,700 more than in October-December 2011 and up just 700 from a year earlier.

The number of employed in the 15-74 age group averaged 3,815,900 in November-January, down 34,600 from October-December and up 39,800 in one year.

The employment rate in the age group slipped to 49.8% from 50.2% in October-December, but was up from 49.1% one year earlier. The employment rate declined for the second time in a row after rising almost steadily between December 2010-February 2011 until reaching 50.4% in September-November last year.

Employment in the 15-64 age group fell 31,500 from October-December and rose 39,200 from one year earlier to 3,783,800 in November-February. The employment rate in this age group fell 0.4 percentage points from the previous three months to 56.0% and was up 0.7 percentage points yr/yr.

In a further change, KSH did not publish a workforce participation rate. It published, however, a breakdown for men and women as well as some age groups within the 15-74 age group.

The employment rate among men in the 15-64 age group fell 0.4 points from October-December to 62.0% and that for women fell 0.2 points to 50.9%. The employment rate for men rose 1.1 points and that for women rose 0.4 points in one year.

The unemployment rate in the 25-54 age group was 10.1% in November-January, up from 9.7% in October-December and down from 10.4% one year earlier. 

The unemployment rate in the 15-24 age group rose to 27.1% from 26.3% in the previous three-month period and was also up from 25.4% one year earlier.

KSH said exactly 47% of the unemployed in the 15-74 age group had been seeking work for a year or more in November-January, down from 47.3% in October-December. The average time spent unemployed fell slightly from Q4 last year to 17.5 months.

KSH noted that a registry drawn up to operate and evaluate the tools to manage unemployment showed 648,400 registered jobseekers at the end of January, 5.2% less than one year earlier.

The "employed" in the above 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.