Budapest, March 29 (MTI) – Hungary’s rolling average three-month jobless rate reached 4.4 percent in December-February, slightly up from 4.3 percent in the previous period but down from 6.1 percent in the same period a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.
The rate covers unemployment among those between the ages of 15 and 74.
In absolute terms, there were 202,500 unemployed in Hungary in December-February, 4,900 more than in November-January but 73,000 fewer than in the same period a year earlier.
Commenting on the KSH data, Péter Cseresnyés, the state secretary responsible for employment and training, told public television that Hungary’s workforce capacity had been growing apace for nearly four years, with the private sector, which employed 144,000 more this year, driving the upswing. The number of employees of the public sector fell by 14,000, which also points to a vigorous primary labour market, he said.
The government aims to use the fostered work programme as a transitory stage and decrease the number of fostered employees by 40,000 to 50,000 within a few years. Job seekers should ultimately find employment in the private sector, Cseresnyés said.
The unemployment rate among the young job seekers fell to 11.1 percent from around 30 percent around 2010, Cseresnyés pointed out.
Analysts said seasonal fluctuations were behind the slight rise in the unemployment rate from November-January to December-February.
Erste Bank analyst Orsolya Nyeste said that tightness in the labour market has up till now compensated for usually higher unemployment during the winter season.
Takarekbank analyst Gergely Suppán said employment growth could soon be restrained by growing demand for skilled workers in various sectors. This could, however, help lower the number of fostered workers and public sector employees as they move towards the private sector and force companies to improve productivity.