‘In the worst case I go to London and wash dishes’ – according to index.hu, this was plan B for several Hungarian young adults in the last years when it came to what they would do if they didn’t get a job they liked in Hungary after university. But do Hungarians really wash dishes and work as waiters in England? And do they have to fight for these jobs with Polish and Bulgarian emigrants?
The answer is briefly ‘approximately and not really’, but it is actually much more complicated. The question is answered by Chris Moreh, researcher at Southampton University’s Demographical Science Centre, in Labour Market Mirror 2015 that was published by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Moreh’s research analyses the sectors in which immigrants worked between 2007 and 2015 and is based on the British Statistic Office’s quarterly survey on the labour market. What we can tell for sure is that the majority of Hungarians and other immigrants from South European countries (joined since 2004) do work: the rate of actives is 82.5% among Hungarians and 80% among other nations. Officially, only the 4.7% of Hungarians is unemployed in Great Britain, while the other 12.8% includes students, homemakers and pensioners.
But here comes the original question? Do Hungarians really wash dishes and take on waiter jobs? Well, proportionately most people, 26.5% of this group at least work in catering. Other than this, relatively many work in commerce, real estate and health care.
This is not so surprising itself, but what’s interesting is that this pattern differs quite a lot from what others, from different southern countries or immigrants do in general. Those coming from the other 11 countries, joined after 2004, mostly work in the processing industry, meaning that almost a fourth of them work in factories. More of them work in the building industry and less of them work in catering or health care compared to Hungarians.
Foreigners coming from states outside the European Union work in different areas again: 18.9% work in health care and social service, only 10.3% in catering and 8.2% in industry.
Copy editor: bm