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Hungary’s rolling average three-month jobless rate stood at 3.8 percent in November-January, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.

The rate was level with that in the previous month but fell from 4.3 percent a year earlier.

The rate covers unemployment among Hungarians between the ages of 15 and 74.

In absolute terms, the number of unemployed was 173,700 in December.

The unemployment rate in the 15-24 age group stood at 10.6 percent. This group accounted for about one-fifth of all jobless. Among 25-54 year olds, unemployment was 3.4 percent and among 55-74 year olds, 2.4 percent.

The average time spent looking for work was 15 months. A little more than 38 percent had been seeking a job for one year or more.

The number of employed Hungarians stood at 4,435,900 during the period, up 35,300 from a year earlier. The number included 175,200 in fostered work schemes, 32,800 fewer than a year earlier, and 98,100 working abroad, down by 18,800 in twelve months.

Commenting on the data, Economy Minister Mihály Varga told public television that more fostered workers are finding work on the primary labour market and that more Hungarians working abroad are returning home, drawn back by higher wages.

ING Bank chief analyst Peter Virovacz said Hungary’s labour market was close to reaching full employment. He put the year-end unemployment rate around 3.6 percent.

Erste Bank senior analyst Gergely Urmossy said there was still room for improvement on the labour market, noting that the number of economically inactive Hungarians still stands over 2,800,000.

Source: MTI

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