Hungary’s average unemployment rate was 6.2% in October-December, level with the average in September-November, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported. The unemployment rate was down from 7.1% in the same period a year earlier. The number of unemployed averaged 280,700 in October-December, while the number of employed stood at 4,259,300.
Excluding Hungarians in public work programmes and those working abroad, 58,000 jobs were added during the period, KSH noted, adding that the activity rate rose to 60.3% from 59.0%. The data are calculated in line with International Labour Organisation standards and include people with all forms of employment contracts who have worked more than one hour a week during the period or are on sick leave or paid absence. The data also include those employed in public work schemes and those working abroad for less than one year.
“Hungarian reforms are obviously working, as the indicator has thus reached a 25-year peak”, the Economy Ministry said in response to the fresh unemployment data released by KSH. “Labour market indicators are steadily improving in step with Hungary’s economic growth. Employment has been rising and the unemployment rate continues to be low, in line with the Government’s expectations and the forecasts of the Convergence Programme”, the Ministry said in a press release.
The green opposition LMP said in reaction to the report that “growing figures on paper” seem to be more important for the government than job creation. LMP co-leader Bernadett Szél said that the number of people employed in public works schemes had reached a record number last year. “Orbán’s work-based society showed its real face in 2015: the government does not care if you can make a living; the sole purpose is to produce statistics indicating a growing employment,” Szél said.
Takarékbank analyst Gergely Suppán noted the number of new jobs added to the economy, excluding public workers and Hungarians abroad, was up from the previous three-month period. He added that business confidence indicators augur further hiring. Erste Bank analysts Vivien Barczel and Gergely Ürmössy said the unemployment rate could drop to 6.5% this year from 6.8% in 2015.
via ksh.hu, hungarymatters.hu and kormany.hu