Budapest, February 26 (MTI) – Hungary’s average unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in November-January, unchanged from the previous three-month period, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.

The unemployment rate was down from 7.4 percent in the same period a year earlier.

The number of unemployed averaged 279,200 in November-January. The number of employed stood at 4,239,500.

The average time spent looking for work was 19.2 months during the period. About 50.2 percent of the unemployed had been seeking a job for one year or more.

There were 3,006,200 economically inactive Hungarians — those neither employed nor seeking work — during the period, down from 3,098,400 a year earlier. At the same time, the activity rate rose to 60.0 percent from 59.0 percent.

The data are calculated in line with International Labour Organisation standards and include people with all forms of employment contracts who have worked more than one hour a week during the period or are on sick leave or paid absence. The data also include those employed in public work schemes and those working abroad for less than one year.

Analyst Péter Virovácz of ING Bank told MTI that he expects unemployment to drop below 6 percent this year.

Gergely Suppán of Takarékbank said full-year unemployment could fall to 6.3 percent this year from 6.8 percent in 2015 and could drop to around 6 percent next year.


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