Czech unemployment rate hits five-year high

Czech unemployment rose to 9.9 percent in February, hitting a five-year high, official data showed on Monday. The rate rose from 9.8 percent in January 2010 and from 7.4 percent in February last year, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said. Employment offices registered over 500,000 job seekers ready to start work immediately. Analysts expect unemployment to hit 10 percent before the end of this year. The Czech jobless rate has been rising steadily since the global crisis hit the economy in November 2008. At that time, it stood at 5.3 percent.