Budapest, July 29 (MTI) – The jobless rate in Hungary is expected to drop to below 5 percent in the next few months, the economy minister said on Friday.
Commenting on the latest Central Statistical Office (KSH) data, Mihály Varga told a news conference that the employment rate had never been as favourable as it is now since the change in political system in 1989-1990. The government targets full employment, he added.
Since the government assumed power in 2010, 633,000 jobs have been added to the labour market, 402,000 of them in the private sector, he noted. The unemployment rate has declined from 11.6 percent to 5.1 percent over the period, adding that the jobless rate was last at such a low rate in the early 2000s.
In 2010, Hungary was at penultimate place among European Union countries in terms of its employment rate which was 54.6 percent and currently it is close to the EU average with 66.4 percent, Varga said.
The average EU unemployment rate is 8.5 percent and Hungary, with 5.1 percent unemployment, has the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the union. There are some 50,000 unfilled jobs in Hungary, he added.
He said figures from the first half of this year showed a positive change in the housing market and the government family home creation scheme has proven to be a success. The economy ministry projects the number of new homes to be 13,000, he said.
He denied press reports according to which he recently said that retail prices could increase by 20-25 percent in the next 4-5 years.