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Hungary unemployment rate still growing, 11.8% in Jan-March

Hungary's average unemployment rate was 11.8% in the 15-74 age group in Q1, up from 11.4% in December-February, but the increase slowed compared to the previous period, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.

The rate was never so high since Q1 1993 when it reached 12.5%. In Q1 2009 it was 9.7%.

After unchanged rates of 10.5% in the autumn, the three-month average rate rose to 10.8% in November-January. The unemployment rate bottomed out at 7.5% in the middle of 2008.

The jobless rate for the 15-64 age group was 11.9% in January-March, after 11.5% in December-February.

The number of unemployed in the 15-74 age group grew by 18,000 from December-February to 497,800. The average number of unemployed increased by 23,100 in the previous, December-February period. In Q1, the number was 95,000 higher than a year earlier.

The number of employed fell by 7,000 from December-February to 3,719,000 in Q1 in the 15-74 age group . In December-February it declined 24,000. It was 3,760,000 in Q1 2009.

The employment rate - the percentage of the working age population who are employed - decreased in Q1 to 54.5% from 54.6% in December-February for the 15-64 age group, but the participation rate - the percentage of people actively employed or seeking employment - increased to 61.9% from 61.7 %. (MTI-Econews)