Budapest, October 28 (MTI) – The average unemployment rate among Hungarians between the ages of 15 and 74 was 6.4 percent in July-September, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.
The jobless rate was down from 7.4 percent in the same period a year earlier and down from 6.9 percent in April-June.
The number of unemployed averaged 292,700 in July-September. The number of employed averaged 4,264,800.
Average employment in July-September was 116,200 higher than in the same period a year earlier.
A total of 49.2 percent of the unemployed had been seeking work for one year or more. The average time spent looking for work was 19.3 months.
There were 2,979,000 economically inactive Hungarians — those neither employed nor seeking work — in the age group during the period, down from 3,088,500 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.
Erste analyst Vivien Barczel said the jobless rate in July-September is lower than it was expected, mainly because of the high number of fostered workers, which has reached 226,000 or 5.3 percent of the total.
For the rest of the year the analyst expects the jobless rate to rise because of seasonal effects; the average unemployment rate this year could be around 7 percent. For 2016 the average rate could drop to 6.5-6.6 percent.
Takarekbank analyst Gergely Suppan also noted the lower than expected jobless rate noting that the number of inactive Hungarians has fallen below 3 million.
Suppan expects the unemployment rate to be around 6 percent in the second half of 2015 because of seasonal effects and improving outlook on the job market. The jobless rate could be 6.9 percent for 2015 and fall to 6.5 percent next year, he said.