In October 2012, 6.8 percent of the labour force was unemployed. This represents 536 thousand people. In September the unemployment rate stood at 6.6 percent. It was also high at the start of 2005, but then it never exceeded 6.6 percent. The latest figures released show that there were 310 thousand unemployment benefits paid in October, 6 thousand more than in September.
In the last three months, unemployment rose by an average of 9 thousand a month. Over half were people aged 45 to 65. The number of unemployed people over 45 reached 191 thousand in October, which represents 5.8 percent of the labour force aged 45 to 65. The number of current unemployment benefits rose by almost 2 percent in October 2012, reaching 310 thousand. The increase was relatively strong in the seasonally sensitive sectors such as hotels and restaurants and agriculture. Nearly 40 thousand new benefits were granted in October, which is over 8 percent more than in September. The number of terminated benefits fell by nearly 6 percent to 34 thousand. The decrease in terminated benefits due to work resumption was an above average 13 percent.