(MTI) – The average unemployment rate among Hungarians between the ages of 15 and 74 was 8.3 percent in January-March, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.
The jobless ratio was down from 8.6 percent in December-February and from 11.8 percent in the same period a year earlier.
The number of employed averaged 4,078,400 in January-March. The figure rose 25,600 from December-February and was up by 260,700 in one year.
The jobless rate was the lowest since the end of 2008 and the number of the employed was the highest since 1992, the National Economy Ministry said in a statement.
The activity rate rose to 58.4 percent from 58.2 percent.
There were 369,700 unemployed in the 15-74 age group in January-March, 9,700 less than the average in the previous three-month period and 139,000 less than a year earlier.
The jobless number included 263,600 between the ages of 25 and 54.
About 51.6 percent of the unemployed had been seeking work for one year or more. The average time spent looking for work was 18.7 months.
KSH noted that the National Labour Office registered 431,000 job-seekers in Hungary at the end of March, down 30.4 percent from twelve months earlier.
The data published Friday are in line with ILO (International Labour Organisation) statistics and include people with all forms of employment contracts who have worked more than one hour a week during the period or are on sick leave or paid absence. The data also include those employed in public work schemes and those working abroad for less than one year.
Erste senior analyst Gergely Gabler said the unemployment rate came out better than expected, but pointed out that the data was considerably distorted by the some 200,000 fostered workers in government programmes.
Buda-Cash analyst Balint Torok said that fostered workers accounted for about two-thirds of the year-on-year improvement in the number of employed. He added that the fact Hungarians working abroad are included in the data also distorts the picture.