Budapest, April 28 (MTI) – Hungary’s rolling three-month jobless rate averaged 4.5 percent in January-March, slightly up from 4.4 percent in the previous period but down from 6.0 percent in the same period a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.
The rate covers unemployment among those between the ages of 15 and 74.
In absolute terms, there were 206,800 unemployed in Hungary in January-March, 4,300 more than in December-February but 66,000 fewer than in the same period a year earlier.
The number of employed Hungarians during the period stood at 4,367,900, down 3,600 from the previous three-month period and 105,700 more than one year earlier. The employment rate was unchanged from the previous period at 58.4 percent.
The number of employed included 200,700 Hungarians in fostered work programmes and 111,700 working abroad. The number of those employed on the domestic primary labour market rose by 3.1 percent from a year earlier, while the number of fostered workers dropped 3.6 percent. The number of those working abroad was down by 6.8 percent.
Commenting on the KSH figures, Péter Cseresnyés, state secretary at the economy ministry, noted that some 690,000 more people have jobs now than in 2010, including nearly 480,000 employed in the private sector.
Cseresnyés told public television M1 that Hungary’s unemployment had been steadily decreasing for over five years, and most job seekers find employment with private companies. “All this means is the Hungarian economy is improving.”
Erste Bank analyst Gergely Urmossy said the unemployment was likely to average 4.2 percent this year, while a “tight” labour and fast increasing wages could contribute to an inflation rate of 2.5 percent this year and 3.4 percent in 2018.
ING Bank’s Péter Virovácz said that the jobless rate this year could even fall below 4 percent.