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The unemployment rate went up from 6.5 percent to 7.6 percent in the first quarter of 2009, setting the number of work seekers at 228,000 people, a Central Bureau of Statistics report said Wednesday.

According to the report, the unemployment rate among men increased from 6.5 percent in last quarter of 2008 to 7.3 percent in the following quarter, while the rate of unemployed women shot up from 6.8 percent to 7.9 percent.

The data relate to those who did not work for even one hour per week and who were actively seeking work for four weeks prior.

The report also said that the rate of those unemployed between the ages of 25-64 rose to 6.8 percent, compared to 5.7 percent in the previous quarter.

The sum total of employed individuals, however, dropped 0.6 percent from the last quarter of 2008, from 2.785 million to 2.777.

The report stated that the number of those employed in part-time work after failing to find a full time job, or a second part-time job, rose to 113,000 in the first quarter of 2009, representing a rise of 1.7 percent when compared with the preceding quarter.