Hungary faces a never before seen workforce shortage similar to the pre-Covid economic situation, and the problem is only projected to get worse. Economic news portal Portfolio.hu reports based off information from the Central Statistical Office that the number of unfulfilled jobs has hit a historic record. The sectors hit hardest include manufacturing, information technology, retail, healthcare, and education.
In the first quarter of the year, 87 thousand jobs were left unfulfilled, with such a high number only being recorded once in the past. The private sector was officially recorded to be short 60,000 workers, just three thousand people short of the former record. The current budget would require 24 thousand more workers.
According to Portfolio, the problem could be even more severe then current data shows, as professional estimates assume the real labor shortage could be two to three times that of official statistics. Following the difficult economic times of the coronavirus pandemic, fields like IT, hospitality, and retail need more employees. The hardest hit sector is manufacturing, which has a labor shortage of 22 thousand people, and hopes to reduce the impact by hiring from third countries.
The most significant problem seems to be in the public sphere, however, since:
- the number of unfulfilled jobs in healthcare has remained continuously high – four in every 100 jobs go unfulfilled
- unfulfilled jobs in education have reached their previous record
- and a new record labor shortage has been reached in the administrative-protection sector
Portfolio expects that in the public sector, the lifting of bans on dismissals could be a problem, and sectors which are significantly behind in terms of wages, such as education, could also face increasing challenges as more and more teachers leave the profession.
Featured photo illustration by György Varga/MTI