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Jobless rate at 4.2 percent in January

Hungary's jobless rate was 4.2 percent in January, falling from 5 percent the same month in the previous year but up from 3.7 percent in December, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.

The rate covers unemployment among the 15-74 age group.

In absolute terms, 201,300 people were jobless in January, 36,400 fewer than in January 2021. The number of jobseekers grew by 22,300 compared with December 2021.

The rolling three-month average jobless rate was 3.8 percent in Nov-Jan.

Between November 2021 and January 2022, an average of 4,676,000 people were in employment, 75,000 more than in the same period last year.

Analysts said rises in unemployment were seasonal.

Gabor Regos of the Szazadveg Institute said employment was typically lower in January compared with December given the link between the job market and the decline in retail sales after Christmas.

Takarekbank analyst Gergely Suppan noted that the number of jobless in January was up by 3,000 compared with the three-month rolling average but lower by 26,000 compared with the same month the previous year.

Peter Virovacz of ING Bank said the 4.2 percent unemployment rate was the highest since April 2021 and much higher than expected.

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