More than 70,000 foreigners work in Hungary, with more and more people entering the country under easier terms, mainly in industry. This is the official figure, but their numbers are certainly higher and growing. Experts estimate that 500-1000 foreigners arrive in Hungary every month to work. The labour shortage has and will continue to determine the inflow of foreigners.
The KSH (Central Statistical Office) surveyed companies with at least 5 employees. The number of foreign workers employed by Hungarian companies was 50,000 at the beginning of 2019, rising to 60,000 by the end of the year. The withdrawal of the restrictions following the COVID-19 showed a new trend of increase, as there was a shortage of domestic labour workers.
Officially, more than 70,000 foreigners were working in Hungary in the middle of 2022. This represents a 20 percent increase compared to the middle of 2021, which shows that the number of foreign workers in Hungary is steadily increasing.
According to portfolio.hu, the companies that hire foreign workers are typically global companies: automotive, food industry, metal industry, plastics and rubber industry and electronics production factories.
The hospitality sector is also seeing an increasing inflow of foreign workers. Filipino employees are becoming more common in tourist places in Budapest, but food delivery workers are also on the rise. Most of them speak good English, are well educated and reliable, and those with fixed contracts keep to their commitment and duration.
But that’s not surprising, since an entire industry has been built on sending workers abroad. If they leave the company they were sent to work for, not only can they be barred from working abroad again, but so can their families. The situation is different for Vietnamese workers, according to József Nógrádi.
“Some of them are already leaving the airport, many of them prefer to work in other countries of the European Union.”
However, Pham Ngoc Chu, managing director of DC Handel Trade and Services Ltd, says that Vietnamese skilled workers who have already undergone vocational training and have already worked meet all the needs. The president of the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Association in Hungary added that the biggest challenge is not language but culture and lifestyle differences. Where there is a greater demand for imported labour, Asian workers are more welcome. For example, for simple skilled jobs such as fruit picking, packing and cleaning, but also for jobs requiring expertise such as chef, welder and electrician.
As for Mongolian and Indian workers, the main problem is integration. They come with very different religious systems, work cultures and/or social experience. In the case of jobs requiring qualifications, there are significant administrative complications in getting certificates localised. But according to József Nógrádi, there are more and more Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Belarusian workers in Hungary.
Despite the Russian-Ukrainian war, there are no more Ukrainian workers than before the war. This is partly due to the military conscription of men, and women also tend to move on to Western Europe because of refugee status and higher wages. They have less and less language problems because of advances in technology. In general, far fewer people are coming to Hungary from Ukraine to work than before the war broke out, says Magdolna Mihályi, managing director of Jobtain HR Services Ltd.
Foreign workers can be given a maximum two-year employment contract in the initial period. It is not even recommended for a shorter timeframe because of the costs involved, such as travel, accommodation, medical care, residence and work permits. After the two years, the contract can be extended for two plus one years.
According to József Nógrádi, Trenkwalder’s commercial director, the number of new expats could now be between 500,000 per month. There is an increasing demand for foreign labour from companies operating in Hungary. This is evidenced by the fact that even a few days before Christmas they brought in workers because the demand was so high.
It is therefore likely that a hybrid solution will work in practice for these large investments. Domestic and foreign workers will be both employed to fill the newly opened positions.
Social Inequality – grows and grows in Hungary.
Wages – what lowest in the European Union?
The “creed” – or one of many that the Orban Government, dictate in Hungary is;
” That the Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer.”
Apprehensiveness say that the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” That is not entirely accurate. When many people get richer some of those riches find their way to poorer people. But he prime reason why the rich get richer is because the rich let their money work for them. Invested wealth works 24/7 365 days a year. Poor people work by the hour maybe 40-80 hours per week.