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Fresh Data Show Unemployment Rate In Hungary Third Lowest In The European Union

By Tamás Székely // 2017.02.28.

Hungary’s rolling average three-month jobless rate was 4.3% in November-January, dropping from 4.4% in the previous period and 6.2% in the same period a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said.



The rate covers unemployment among those between the ages of 15 and 74. In absolute terms, there were 197,600 unemployed in Hungary in November-January, 7,400 fewer than in October-December and 81,600 fewer than in the same period a year earlier. At the same time the number of employed people in Hungary was 4,401 thousand in In November 2016–January 2017, 161 thousand more than a year earlier. The employment rate of people aged 15–64 increased to 67.4%, the improvement in the employment indicators of women was stronger.



Analyst reaction:

The employment rate in Hungary is likely to improve further, but a shortage of skilled job-seekers might slow the tendency, analysts said. Wages are expected to grow in 2017, possibly at a two-digit annual growth rate, Péter Virovácz, analyst of ING said. A decrease in the number of public sector employees might nudge the work market in the right direction, said Gergely Suppan of Takarékbank. While lack of skilled labour continues to be a problem, low employee numbers might contribute to an increase in productivity, he said.

Government reaction:

Reacting to KSH’s fresh employment data, state secretary Péter Cseresnyés said that while the number of employees in the private sector grew, that in the public sector shrank by 17,000. The employees leaving the public sector presumably find work in the private sector, he added. Talking about youth unemployment, he stressed that the employment rate of young people has grown to almost 30 percent from under 20 percent in 2010. The work place protection scheme supported an average of 170 000 workers below 25 years of age monthly in 2016, he said. Unemployment among the young has dropped to 11.1 percent from nearly 30 percent in 2010, he said. Hungary’s 4,3 percent rate of overall unemployment puts the country to third place among the EU countries, with only Germany and the Czech Republic preceding it, Cseresnyés noted.

Opposition reaction:

The green opposition LMP said about the KSH figures that the government “covers up” a part of the unemployed by bureaucratically reducing their number. LMP co-leader Bernadett Szél said in a statement that the government fails to ensure assistance to people unable to work for health reasons. “Full employment for the government does not mean providing jobs with a decent salary to as many people as possible; PM Viktor Orbán is happy if employment figures are up due to a large number of low earners and unemployment is down because people unable to work are left by the side of the road,” Szél insisted.

via, and MTI