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Hungary jobless rate falls to 6.2pc

Hungary jobless rate falls to 6.2pc

Budapest, January 5 (MTI) – Hungary’s average unemployment rate slipped to 6.2 percent in September-November from 6.4 percent in August-October, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.

The unemployment rate was down a full percentage point from the same period a year earlier.

The number of unemployed averaged 283,800 in September-November. The number of employed stood at 4,272,700.

The average time spent looking for work was 18.8 months during the period. About 49.7 percent of the unemployed had been seeking a job for one year or more.

There were 2,974,3000 economically inactive Hungarians — those neither employed nor seeking work — during the period, down from 3,086,500 a year earlier. At the same time, the activity rate rose to 60.5 percent from 59.2 percent.

The data are calculated in line with International Labour Organisation standards 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.

ING Bank chief analyst Andras Balatoni said the more than 50,000 jobs added on the primary labour market showed the spillover effect of economic growth.

Takarekbank analyst Gergely Suppan said the latest gauges of business confidence suggest employment could rise further in future.

Erste analyst Gergely Urmossy said the unemployment rate is better than earlier projected and added that the public works scheme reduced the seasonal effects in the labour market. Erste expects the 2015 average unemployment to stand at 6.8 percent and further drop to 6.5 percent this year.

The ruling Fidesz party said in a statement issued after the job statistics were released that “Hungarian reforms are working”. Thanks to a growing economy, employment schemes and job-creating investments, more and more people are in work and there are ever fewer unemployed, the statement said. And new government household subsidies are expected to further boost the employment level, it added.

Fidesz said that under the left wing, the jobless rate doubled and now it has gone down to just about six percent from 12 percent under the previous government. The current government, however, is on track to fulfil its pledge of full employment, and is succeeding in leading the country out of the world of welfare and into the world of work.

The government will launch further schemes to boost employment in the first half of this year, including a programme to help public workers enter the job market, the state secretary in charge of the labour market and training said on Tuesday.

The scheme for fostered work starting on February 1 will have a total allocation of 3 billion forints (EUR 9.5m) and the government expects 20,000-25,000 people to enter the primary labour market with the help of the programme, Peter Cseresnyes told a press conference. The government also plans to expand its scheme for interns to include career-starters with vocational skills as well as introducing new forms of flexible work.


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