Budapest, June 26 (MTI) – The average unemployment rate among Hungarians between the ages of 15 and 74 was 7.1 percent in March-May, down from 7.5 percent in the previous three-month period, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.
The jobless rate was down from 8.1 percent in the same period a year earlier.
The number of unemployed averaged 319,700 in March-May. The number of employed averaged 4,165,100.
Fully 46.5 percent of the unemployed had been seeking work for one year or more. The average time spent looking for work was 18.1 months.
There were 3,055,100 economically inactive Hungarians — those neither employed nor seeking work — in the age group during the period, down from 3,160,500 a year earlier. At the same time, the activity rate rose to 59.5 percent from 58.3 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.
An economy ministry official said that the figures were the best since the statistical office started its measurements of employment in 1992. Sandor Czomba, state secretary for labour and training, told public new channel M1 that there are still disparities between regions but improvements in this respect are being made. In the private sector, the employment rate has been rising continually for the past 18 months, he said, adding that it was also important that the jobless rate was dropping in parallel. There is a good chance this rate may drop to below 7 percent, Czomba said.