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UPDATE - Hungary jobless rate down to 10.7% in July-Sept

The average unemployment rate in Hungary was 10.7% in the 15-74 age group in July-September, down from 10.8% in June-August and down from 10.9% one year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Friday. In the 15-64 age group, the jobless rate was unchanged from the previous three-month period at 10.8% and was down from 10.9% one year earlier.

The number of unemployed in the 15-74 age group averaged 462,000 in July-September 2011, dropping 700 from June-August, but down 3,700 from a year earlier.

The number of employed within the 15-74 age group rose 19,500 from June-August and 33,400 from a year earlier to 3,855,900.

The drops in the jobless numbers and the rise in employment numbers were similar in the 15-64 age group, in which the number of unemployed stood at 461,800 and the number of those employed totaled 3,822,100 in July-September.

The activity rate in both age groups rose slightly from June-August, to 56.3% in July-September for the 15-74 age group and to 63.2% for the 15-64 age group. The activity rates for both age groups were up from 55.8% and 62.9%, respectively, from twelve months earlier.

15- to 24-year-olds accounted for 17.8% of those unemployed in July-September. The unemployment rate in this age group was 26.8%, up from 26.0% in the previous three-month period but unchanged from a year earlier.

The jobless rate for the 25-54 age group was 9.7%, down from 9.9% in June-August, and down 0.3 percentage point from a year earlier.

About 49.7% of the unemployed have been seeking jobs for a period of one year or longer, less than the 51.5% measured in the preceding three months. The average period of unemployment was 17.9 months, less than the 18.6 months in June-August.

Average unemployment in 2010 was 11.2%, up 1.2 percentage points from 2009. The rate rose from a low of 7.5% in the summer of 2008 to peak at 11.8% in the first months of 2010. The jobless rate dropped to 10.8% by autumn 2010, but rose again late 2011 before a renewed decline started early this year.