Labour shortages approach critical level in Hungary
Figures recently released by Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH) show that some 50,000 jobs were still waiting to be filled in certain sectors and regions of Hungary, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.
According to KSH, businesses employing at least five individuals have a total of some 36,000 vacant positions, while public sector organizations also have some 14,500 positions to be filled.
The highest number of vacancies in the country’s labour market are in the IT and communications sector, where companies are looking to fill some 2,900 vacancies; however, the administrative and service support sector took second place in this regard, with a 2.4 % proportion of jobs waiting to be filled.
As for the manufacturing sector, the labour shortages have reached an all-time high. KSH figures show that the largest manufacturing operations in Hungary have labour shortages of some 2.1 %, around 14,000 vacancies, most of which are in the automotive manufacturing, where around 2,600 positions need to be filled.
Retailing chains are also struggling to hire enough employees. The labour shortages have reached the point where Tesco invited trade union leaders to attend the crisis council to address the issue. The multinational grocery chain reportedly intended to solve the situation by hiring temporary workers, which culminated in tensions as temporary workers were paid more than regular employees.
The analysis also reveals that most of the unfilled jobs are in the country’s most developed region, Central Hungary, while the Central Transdanubian region takes the second place on the list in this regard.
According to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ (MTA) recently published economic study, The Hungarian Labour Market 2015, we must consider that the current situation remains permanent, claiming that the increasing labour force migration is indeed a reason for worry, as it is “threatening the proper functioning of services in Hungary”, and that several sectors “are likely to face labour force shortages in the future.”
As a solution to the escalating problem, National Economy Minister Mihály Varga supported a proposal put forward by national business association MGYOSZ to ease labour shortages in the country by inviting some 250,000 “culturally adaptable” foreign workers from outside of the European Union.
Varga added that nobody should be worried about losing their jobs, as the proposal affects only those professions in which there are not enough qualified Hungarian labour force to fill in.
edited by Gábor Hajnal