A year earlier, the jobless rate stood at 3.8 percent.
On an unadjusted basis, unemployment rate rose 4.9 percent in February from 3.7 percent in the preceding month and 4.6 percent in February 2015. It is also the highest figure in six years, driven by college winter vacation and graduation season. The number of unemployed persons increased to 1,317 thousand, as compared to 988 thousand in the previous month. Youth unemployment rate (for those between 15 and 29 years) was recorded at 12.5 percent in February 2016, the highest on record. The number of unemployed college graduates were 573 thousand, up markedly from 398 thousand in January and 481 thousand in the preceding year.
The number of employed persons totaled 25,418 thousand in February 2016, down from 25,445 thousand in a month earlier. From January to February 2016, employment rose only for agriculture (+66 thousand) and business, personal, public service & others (+65 thousand). In contrast, employment fell for: electricity, transport, telecom & finance (-57 thousand), construction (-49 thousand), wholesale & retail trade, accommodation & food (-30 thousand), manufacturing (-25 thousand) and mining & manufacturing (-24 thousand).
Year-on-year, employment rose 0.9 percent while unemployment rose 4.9 percent. The economically active population marked 26,734 in February, up 1.3 percent from a year earlier. The inactive population rose to 16,540, up 0.7 percent. The labor force participation rate stood at 61.8 percent in February, up 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier.