Hungary’s rolling average three-month jobless rate reached 3.6 percent in April-June, down from 3.7 percent in the previous period and down from 4.3 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 165,100 unemployed in Hungary in April-June, 5,500 less than in March-May and 31,200 less than in the same period a year earlier.
The unemployment rate in the 15 to 24 age group stood at 9.5 percent, down 1.5 percentage points from a year earlier. This age group accounted for almost one-fifth of all unemployed,
KSH noted. Unemployment among those between 25 and 54 years of age edged down by 0.4 percentage points to 3.3 percent, and by 1.5 percentage points to 2.1 percent in the 55-74 age bracket.
As we wrote few weeks ago, single male skilled workers aged between 20 and 39 represent the largest group of Hungarians who plan to work abroad, read more HERE.
Out-of-work Hungarians spent about 16.8 months on average looking for a job during the period. About 42.9 percent of the unemployed had been seeking work for one year or longer.
The number of employed Hungarians during the period stood at 4,474,600, up by 17,600 from the previous three-month period and up by 55,000 compared to one year earlier. The employment rate was 60.2 percent, slightly up from 59.9 percent in the previous period and up from 59.2 percent from a year earlier.
The employment rate in April-June was at 67.7 percent for men and at 53 percent for women.
The number of employed included 167,000 Hungarians in fostered work programmes and 107,100 working abroad. The number of those employed on the domestic primary labour market rose by 2.4 percent from a year earlier, while the number of fostered workers dropped by 18.9 percent. The number of those working abroad was down 5.2 percent.
Commenting on the data, the finance ministry’s deputy state secretary for employment said that the number of those in employment has grown by 765,000 since 2010. Fully 610,000 of them found jobs on the primary labour market, Attila István Simon said.
Hungary has the third lowest unemployment rate in the EU, behind the Czech Republic and Germany, and at level with Poland’s,
he noted. The government’s goal is full employment, he said, adding that it had passed a “budget of stable growth” for 2019. The six-year wage agreement also contributes to that goal, he said.
Analyst András Horváth of Takarékbank said the number of employed could exceed 4.5 million during the summer months for the first time since the early 1980s and the unemployment rate could sink to 3 percent by the end of the summer. Horváth said the annual average unemployment rate could be 3.4 percent in 2018. The Hungarian labour market continues to move towards full employment, he said, adding that
the economy still holds workforce reserves of about 500,000.
Péter Virovácz of ING Bank said he expected the jobless rate to fall to around 3.5 percent by the end of this year.
KSH defines “employed” in line with International Labour Organisation standards as anybody who worked one or more hours a week or was temporarily absent from their job during the survey week. The data also include those employed in public work schemes and those working abroad for less than one year.