Hungary has seen a number of recent developments and investments that continue to place a high demand on its labor force. The fact that the number of people in employment has increased by one million in recent years is a significant step forward for the economy, but there are still tens of thousands of jobs waiting to be filled, Világgazdaság reports.
The article says that the country is now at the point where labor shortages are becoming the main problem. Perhaps in light of this, there have been recent announcements that guest workers from abroad are welcome in Hungary, for example from Serbia. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Belgrade last week that the demand for well-qualified labor is constantly growing, and while the aim is to fill the vacancies mainly with Hungarians, it must be seen that there are positions for which it is very difficult to find local workforce.
He added that there is a framework for this, which provides certainty for all and allows qualified employment agencies to bring in workers from 15 countries quickly and easily, without any special authorization procedure. “Serbia is one of these 15 countries. Because Serbian workers are hard-working, disciplined, and skilled, they are very popular with Hungarian employers,” he stated.
Sándor Czomba, Secretary of State for Employment Policy at the Ministry of Economic Development, recently indicated that
Hungary has a labor reserve of around 300,000, and that the labor market shortage must first be addressed with them.
He added that Hungarian-speaking workers from across the border could then be employed, followed by the employment of workers from third countries within a regulated framework.
According to the Central Statistics Office, the unemployed, the underemployed, the inactive who want to work but are not actively looking for work or do not meet the availability criteria, together constitute the so-called potential labor reserve. Their number in 2022 was 285,000 on average, 71,000 less than in 2021.
According to the office’s data, the number of job vacancies at the end of 2022 was 82,900.
Most of the jobs to be filled were in occupations requiring higher education and in elementary occupations requiring no education.
Administrative services had the highest vacancy rate of all jobs, but there was also a significant shortage in health and social work. The smallest additional labor demand was in mining and agriculture.
Meanwhile, the data shows that the proportion of potentially available labor has increased, while there were fewer vacancies at the end of last year.
However, it is worth noting that in many cases, vacancies are not unfilled by chance, as in some cases, they are characterized by poor working conditions and low pay. Unfortunately, in Hungary, it is also common for the employer to employ the worker in a way that does not require the employer to register the employee with the insurance company, and the employer does not have to pay pension or health insurance. In such employment relationships, it is not uncommon for the employee to receive part of his or her salary illegally, i.e. in an envelope, which allows the employer to exploit loopholes. However, this also often means that the worker is registered for minimum wage, and as a result, he or she cannot get a loan from a bank, for example, even though he or she earns much more than the declared wage because this is not shown on the official paperwork.
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