Jobless rate falls to 4 percent

Hungary's jobless rate fell to 4 percent in March, down 0.5 percentage point from the previous month, but climbing 0.4 percentage point from twelve months earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday. The rate covers unemployment among people between the ages of 15 and 74.

In absolute terms, there were 193,600 unemployed, down 19,400 from the previous month and 25,100 more than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, in January-March, the average number of employees was 4,568,000, down 39,000 compared with the same period of the previous year.

The number of employees in the 15-74 age group in March came to 4,616,000, up 41,000 from the previous year and 66,000 more than in the previous month.

The employment rate for 15-64 year olds was 72.5 percent, up 0.7 percentage points from February and 1.2 percentage points from March last year.

Commenting on the data, Sandor Bodo, state secretary for employment policy at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM), said Hungary’s labour market was witnessing positive tendencies, and the rise in the number of employees amounted to a trend.

He said the seasonal impact was minimal, but there is a major shift between sectors as employees made redundant in one sector joined other sectors.

Bodo said there are about 284,000 registered jobseekers in the country, while around 40,000 workers have returned to Hungary from abroad.

Also, the number of people in supported jobs schemes is waning, as the private sector can absorb them.

The state secretary noted that in certain sectors, tourism and hospitality in particular, employment problems are still significant.

Among European countries, Hungary’s employment figure ranks 13th while its jobless rate puts the country in 5th place, he said.

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