Hungary’s rolling three-month jobless rate averaged 4.2 percent in May-July, down from 4.3 percent in the previous period, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.
The May-July rate this year was down from 5 percent in the same period a year earlier.
The data covers unemployment among those between the ages of 15 and 74.
In absolute terms, there were 193,400 unemployed in Hungary in May-July, 3,000 less than in April-June and 34,600 less than in the same period a year earlier.
The number of employed Hungarians during the period stood at 4,433,600, up 14,100 from the previous three-month period and up 61,800 compared to one year earlier. The employment rate was 59.4 percent, up from 59.2 percent in the previous period and up from 58.2 percent from a year earlier.
The number of employed included 195,800 Hungarians in fostered work programmes and 112,900 working abroad. The number of those employed on the domestic primary labour market rose 2.7 percent from a year earlier, while the number of fostered workers dropped 16.9 percent. The number of those working abroad was down 4.4 percent.
KSH defines “employed” as anybody who worked one or more hour a week or was temporarily absent from their job during the survey week.
Analysts said the jobless rate was at an all-time low and the employment rate at a record high.
Peter Virovacz of ING Bank said the rate of growth in active employment had been increasing steadily for several years. Large pay increases this year, mainly affecting lower earners, had boosted the trend, he added.
Gergely Urmossy of Erste Bank said the data had not come as a surprise and that labour market conditions had continued to tighten. This, he said, was likely to continue into the autumn on the back of a general economic upswing and seasonal labour-market effects.
Tamas Horvath of Takarekbank said the Hungarian economy continued to have almost 700,000 people who are either inactive, participating in fostered jobs schemes or working abroad. However, the slowdown in employment growth suggests that there are fewer and fewer skilled potential workers and the skilled workforce is starting to reach its peak.
Mihaly Varga, the economy minister, told public television on Wednesday that the data indicated that Hungarian economic growth was healthy and stable. The growth in jobs also shows that the increase in the number of jobs led to higher employment in almost every age group, while the number of unemployed fell below 200,000.
The Economy Ministry said in a statement that the record jobless rate of 4.2 percent “after a steady decline in the unemployment rate for 61 months, is due to the substantial growth of the economy and the government’s successful employment policy.”
“Since the change of government in 2010, the number of employed has grown by 724,000, while most of the growth was in the private sector,” the ministry said.
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