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Hungary jobless rate up at 11.6% in January-March

Hungary's average unemployment rate was 11.6% in the 15-74 age group in January-March 2011, up from 11.5% in December-February and down from 11.8% in the first quarter of 2010, the Central Statistics Office said on Thursday.

The number of unemployed in the age group totaled 489,800 in the first quarter of 2011, up 2,800 from the previous three-month period and down 8,000 from January-March 2010.

The jobless rate rose for the fourth consecutive period after dropping to 10.7% in September-November last year.

The unemployment rate bottomed out at 7.5% in the summer of 2008 and rose to peak at 11.8% in the first months of 2010. The drop which followed slowed since May-July.

The jobless rate for the 15-64 age group was 11.7% in January-March 2011, up from 11.6% in December 2010-February 2011 and down from 11.9% registered in January-March 2010 when the rate for this age group peaked.

Average unemployment in 2010 was 11.2%, up 1.2 percentage points from 2009.