Hungary’s rolling average three-month unemployment rate stood at 3.8 percent in February-April, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.
The rate, which covers unemployment among Hungarians between the ages of 15 and 74, edged down from 3.9 percent in the previous months.
It dropped from 4.6 percent twelve months earlier.
The rate has remained steady around 3.8 percent for about half a year.
In absolute terms the number of unemployed averaged 177,000 in February-April, down 900 from January-March and 32,000 lower than a year earlier.
The number of employed Hungarians stood at 4,445,000 during the period, up 67,000 from a year earlier.
Finance Minister Mihály Varga, commenting on the figures in an interview to public television, noted that
employment had continued to expand and at the same time the number of people working abroad and on workfare schemes had decreased.
This positive trend, he said, would continue thanks to the six-year wage agreement and ongoing housing construction.
The Finance Ministry said in a statement that amid a strengthening economy, the jobless number had dropped from half a million in 2010 to 177,000. Hungary’s jobless rate of 3.8 percent puts the country fourth on the EU list of the lowest unemployment. At the same time, it has boosted its employment at the fastest rate since 2010, by 13.3 percentage points, as against an EU average rise of 3.5 percentage points.
The ministry noted strains on the labour market, however, adding that a crucial task in the coming period is to activate reserves in the labour force and to train fostered workers and the unemployed.
Also conditions for women with young children must be eased as well as making it simpler for retired people to earn a living, it added.
As we wrote before, the labour shortage in the industrial sector could force multinationals to postpone capacity expansions or take some of their production elsewhere, a union leader warned, read more HERE.
Almost 25,000 non-EU nationals were awarded permits to work in Hungary last year, around 10,000 more than in 2016, read more HERE.