Budapest, October 27 (MTI) – Hungary’s rolling average three-month jobless rate reached 4.9 percent in July-September, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Thursday.
The rate, which covers unemployment among 15- to 74-year-olds, was level with that in June-August but fell from 6.4 percent in the same period a year earlier.
In absolute terms, there were 226,500 unemployed in Hungary in July-September, 600 less than in June-August and down by 66,200 from the same period a year earlier.
Analysts interviewed by MTI said falling unemployment has a positive effect on economic growth in the short term through growing wages, but labour shortages could become an impediment to growth in the medium term. Unemployment could fall close to 4.6 percent by the end of this year, they added.
ING Bank chief analyst Péter Virovácz noted that the number of job-seekers was now practically level with the number of fostered workers. He said the labour shortage is likely to worsen in the coming years, as some 8,000 jobs are added in the automotive and related industries alone in 2017-2018. Big companies could leech labour from SMEs, causing the productivity gap between big and small companies to widen, he warned.
Takarekbank analyst Gergely Suppán said the data show the new jobs were created in the private sector and that the number of Hungarians working abroad was down by 1,000. He put the full-year jobless rate at 5.3 percent.
Péter Cseresnyés, state secretary in charge of jobs at the economy ministry, welcomed the figures and said government measures such as the job protection scheme, were behind the improvement. He noted that youth unemployment data also show improvement, keeping the jobless rate in this age group below 13 percent, compared to its rate of 30 percent in 2010.
The opposition LMP party said that the government is preoccupied with “meaningless employment data” while it has no answers to emigration and a serious labour shortage in the country. The jobs data include Hungarians working abroad as well as foreign workers in Hungary, LMP said in a statement.