Hungary jobless rate falls to 4.3 pc – UPDATE
Hungary’s rolling average three-month jobless rate fell to 4.3 percent in April-June from 4.4 percent in the previous period, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Thursday.
The rate of unemployment among 15-74 year-olds was lower than 5.1 percent in the same period a year earlier.
In absolute terms, there were 196,000 job seekers in Hungary in April-June, 6,700 less than in March-May and 47,600 less than in the same period a year earlier.
The unemployment rate among 15-24 year-olds stood at 11 percent, down by 2.3 percentage points from a year earlier. The unemployment rate for 25-54 year-olds dropped by 0.8 percentage points to 3.7 percent and the rate among 55-64 year-olds was down by 0.4 percentage point at 3.9 percent.
The number of employed Hungarians during the period stood at 4,419,600, up 26,900 from the previous three-month period and up 76,800 than one year earlier. The employment rate was 59.2 percent, slightly up from 58.9 percent in the previous period and up from 57.8 percent a year earlier.
The number of employed included 206,000 Hungarians in fostered work programmes and 113,000 working abroad. The number of those employed on the domestic primary labour market rose by 2.7 percent from a year earlier, while the number of fostered workers dropped by 11.2 percent. The number of those working abroad was down by 3.2 percent.
KSH defines “employed” as anybody who worked one or more hour a week or was temporarily absent from their job during the survey week.
The economy ministry said the employment figures have proved the government’s economic policy right, including a six-year wage agreement signed by the government and social partners last November. The 4.3 percent unemployment rate is the fourth best in the European Union, deputy state secretary in charge of the labour market Attila Simon told public television M1.
Analysts told MTI that labour market indicators usually improve in the spring as a result of the start of seasonal jobs and the unemployment rate is expected to drop below an annual 4 percent if it continues to fall in the summer and autumn.
Senior analyst of ING Bank Péter Virovácz said the labour market activity rate has reached a new record of 71.1 percent which was partly a result of wage increases affecting almost every sector.
Senior analyst Dávid Németh of K and H Bank said that it would be desirable to see an increase in the number of workers in the business sector as a result of structural changes.
Takarékbank analyst András Horváth said the number of jobholders could be up at 4.5 million by the end of the summer and the unemployment rate could drop to 3.7 percent.
As we wrote, from January on, skilled labor wages in tourism (785 euros) may exceed the average ones (590 euros); the collective contract will be signed this autumn.