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Hungary unemployment rate levels out

  Hungary's average unemployment rate was 11.8% in the 15-74 age group in February-April, unchanged from January-March and up from 9.9% a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Thursday. The rate levelled out after sharp rises from 10.5% in the last quarter of 2009. The number of employed rose for the first time since Q2 last year.

The unemployment rate bottomed out at 7.5% in the summer of 2008, and rose practically steadily before levelling out temporarily last autumn. The rate rose again up to January-March this year when it reached the highest level since Q1 1993 when it measured 12.5%.

The jobless rate for the 15-64 age group was 11.8% in February-April, down from 11.9% in January-March, in the first drop of the rate since Q4 2009.

The number of unemployed in the 15-74 age group dropped by 1,000 from January-March to 496,800 and was up by 85,000 from a year earlier.

The number of employed rose by 11,800 from from January-March to 3,731,100 in February-April in the 15-74 age group . Employment numbers were still down 35,000 in one year. The employment rate - the percentage of the 15-74 age population who are employed - rose to 48.5% from 48.4% in Q1.Measured in the 15-64 age group, the number of employed rose now for the second three-month period, and was up 13,900 from January-March at 3,701,900 in February-April. The employment rate - the percentage of the working age population who are employed - in this age group was 54.7%, up from 54.5% in the first rise registered since May-July last year.

The participation rate - the percentage of people actively employed or seeking employment - rose now for the second month, to 55.0% from 54.9% in the previous three-month period for the 15-74 age group and to 62.0% from 61.9% for those aged between 15 and 64 years.

16.5% of the unemployed were in the 15-24 age group, only limitedly present on the labour market, and the unemployment rate for this age group was 27.6%, up 2.5 percentage points from a year earlier.

The unemployment rate calculated for the most active, 25-54 age group was 11.1% in February-April, up 2 percentage points in one year.

46.1% of the unemployed has been seeking a job for one year or more. The average period of unemployment was 16.9 months in February-April, up 0.4 month from a year earlier. (MTI-ECONEWS)