Budapest, September 27 (MTI) – Commenting on the latest jobless and employment data released on Tuesday, opposition LMP chided Economy Minister Mihály Varga for a rosy assessment of the labour market following the release.
Varga earlier told a news conference that employment was at a 24-year high and the jobless rate was set to fall further as companies plan to expand capacity. He added, however, that more and more employers saw the labour shortage as a limiting factor on growth. Solutions to this problem lie in evening out employment disparities within the country as well as reforms to vocational education and wage hikes, he said.
Party co-leader Bernadett Szél accused Varga of failing to “face up to reality”, which she insisted was marked by growing poverty among employees, rural Hungary slipping behind, mass emigration and labour shortages.
The Central Statistical Office (KSH) today reported a jobless rate below 5 percent for the June-August period.
Szél said in a statement that behind the headline numbers, ruling Fidesz had created a country where workers were unable to support themselves, the minimum wage was below the subsistence level and the pay of workers in government fostered job schemes put them way below the poverty line.
Varga failed to mention mass emigration caused by low wages, Szél said. Hungarians are the fifth lowest earners in the European Union and they are moving abroad in growing numbers, she added.
No alternatives to a wage increase are viable and the party has submitted related bills to parliament, the LMP politician said.