The Czech Republic's unemployment rate rose to a record high of 10.3 percent at the end of December, up from 9.9 percent in November. This is the highest figure since 1993. The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry said over 540,000 people were out of work. As compared to other Central and East European countries, the Czech figure is nearly twice the unemployment rate in Hungary but well below the more than 17 percent jobless rate in Poland. The average number of job applicant increased to 13.5, while a year ago, it was just 12.7. According to economic analyst Vladimir Pikora, the worst is yet to come.