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Friday, March 28, 2008

Hungary Unemployment February

Hungary's unemployment rate dropped back back slightly - to 8.0% - over the December 2007-February 2008 period from 8.1% in Nov-Jan, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported today. This was up from a 7.4 percent over the same period one year ago.

Hungary's economy only grew at an annual 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, which was the slowest pace in 11 years, in part due to the government's budget and austerity measures to cut the fiscal deficit.

KSH said the number of unemployed was 337,000 down 5,600 from the previous 3 month period but up by 24,500 over the same period a year earlier. There were a total of 3,854 million persons employed, which compares with 3,873 million in the Nov-Jan period and 3,926 million in the same period a year earlier. That is employment is consistently down, and the basic reason why this is compatible with falling unemployment to some extent is that a larger number of people are leaving the economically active population, presumeably a significant number of these former employees in the state sector who have taken early retirement.

The employment rate of the population aged 15-64 was 56.3% in the period, which compares with 56.5% in the previous 3 month period and is down 1 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

The KSH said 44.9% of all unemployed have been seeking jobs for a year or more (down from 45% in the previous 3 months). The average duration of joblessness came to 16.4 months, unchanged from the previous 3 month period.

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