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Jobless rate falls to 3.3 percent

Hungary's jobless rate reached 3.3 percent in June, falling from 3.5 percent in the previous month and 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, there were 160,200 unemployed, 8,300 fewer than a month earlier and 33,200 fewer than in June 2021.

The rolling three-month average jobless rate stood at 3.2 percent in June, dropping from 3.4 percent in May and 4.1 percent twelve months earlier.

The monthly jobless rate for the 15 to 64-year-old age group stood at 3.3 percent, down from 3.5 percent in the previous month and 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 230,000 registered jobseekers at the end of June, down 13.3 percent from twelve months earlier.

The employment rate for the 15-74 age group reached 64.7 percent in June, climbing from 63.9 percent in May and 63.8 percent twelve months earlier. In absolute terms, there were 4,739,500 employed in June, 53,400 more than in May and 47,600 more than twelve months earlier.

The number of economically active people in the age group stood at 4,899,700, giving Hungary an activity rate of 66.9 percent.

Magyar Bankholding chief analyst Andras Horvath said the fresh data show employment numbers are catching up to market demand “rather slowly”, indicating the low quality of the available labour force as well as geographical mismatches. Magyar Bankholding puts the unemployment rate at 3.3 percent for the full year, he added.

ING Bank senior analyst Peter Virovacz noted that seasonal jobs absorbed people returning to the workforce as well as jobseekers in June. The data give no indication that employers are readying for a weaker economic environment, he added.

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