Hungary’s employment rate in the first quarter of 2021 grew the fastest in the European Union, a government official said on Wednesday, adding that this was a sign of the government’s successful crisis management during the pandemic.
Commenting on Eurostat data released on Wednesday, Sándor Bodó, a state secretary of the innovation and technology ministry, said the number of jobholders in Hungary grew by 1.1 percent quarter on quarter from January to March. Hungary was the only country with a growth rate above one percent in the EU, where overall employment edged down by 0.2 percent, he said.
The government’s measures to protect the economy have helped some 1.6 million people in the past two years, Bodó said. The wage support programme alone has preserved or created some 500,000 jobs, he added.
The government’s revamped workforce support scheme, launched earlier in June, offers 600,000 forints (EUR 1,700) in government support each month for half a year to companies employing people out of jobs for more than a month beforehand, Bodó said. Self-employed workers in hard-hit sectors are now entitled to one-off aid of 219,000 forints, he added.
Over 4.5 million people are currently employed in Hungary, and the number of jobseekers has fallen by 100,000 compared with the highest numbers last summer, he said.
featured image: Sándor Bodó in the Parliament; via Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI