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Jobless rate at 3.6 percent

Hungary's jobless rate was at 3.6 percent in August, edging up from 3.5 percent in the previous month but down from 4.0 percent twelve months earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Thursday. The rate covers unemployment among people between the ages of 15 and 74.

In absolute terms, 176,700 unemployed were registered, 3,800 more than a month earlier but 17,400 fewer than in August 2021.

The rolling three-month average jobless rate stood at 3.4 percent in August, up from 3.3 percent in July but down by an annual 4.1 percent.

The monthly jobless rate for the 15- to 64-year-old age group stood at 3.7 percent, up from 3.5 percent in the previous month but down from 4.0 percent a year earlier.

KSH uses the International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition of jobless which includes people who are without work, people who carried out activities to seek employment in the previous past four weeks, and people who did not look for work but made arrangements for a future job start within two weeks.

KSH noted that data from the National Employment Service (NFSZ) show there were 231,000 registered jobseekers at the end of August, down 9.6 percent from twelve months earlier.

The employment rate for the 15-74 age group reached 64.4 percent in August, edging up from 64.3 in July and also up from 63.6 percent twelve months earlier. In absolute terms, there were 4,712,700 employed in August, 1,000 fewer than in July but 34,300 more than twelve months earlier.

The number of economically active people in the age group stood at 4,889,400, giving Hungary an activity rate of 66.8 percent.

So far, the war has not had any negative impact on the domestic labour market, but soaring energy costs could lead to shutdowns in certain sectors in the coming months, which may lead to layoffs, Magyar Bankholding senior analyst Gergely Suppan said. It remains to be seen how much the government’s planned job protection programme and the workforce shortage that still exists in certain areas will be able to offset the negative impact, he added. Suppan put the full-year jobless rate at 3.5 percent both this year and in 2023.

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