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Unemployment Down to 3.8%

32rtn the period December 2017–February 2018, the rolling three-month average number of unemployed Hungarians was some 25,000 fewer than a year earlier, while the jobless rate decreased by 0.6 of a percentage point to 3.8%. Employment data show there were around 70,000 more people in work than at the same time in 2016.

The unemployment rate was lower for men than for women, and among men, the value of the indicator improved as well, while it was practically unchanged among women, according to a first release of data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

In December 2017–February 2018, the average number of unemployed people was 178,000. The number of unemployed men aged 15–74 decreased by 24,000 to 87,000, compared to the equivalent three-month period a year before, and their jobless rate by 1.0 percentage point to 3.5%. For women, changes occurred within the limits of the sampling error: here, the number of unemployed was 91,000, and the jobless rate was 4.3%.

The number of unemployed among people aged 15–24 amounted to 36,000, with a jobless rate of 11.0%; one-fifth of the unemployed still belonged to this age group. The unemployment rate among the 25–54 age group – i.e. persons of the “best working age” – decreased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 3.5%, while the jobless rate among people aged 55–64 fell by 1.8 percentage points to 2.4%.

The average duration of unemployment decreased to 14.9 months; some 37.9% of unemployed people had been searching for a job for one year or more, i.e. were long-term unemployed.

At the end of February 2018, compared to a year earlier, administrative data of the National Employment Service (NFSz) show that the total number of registered job seekers decreased by 5.8% to 279,000.

Employment rate rises to 68.7%
Employment data released on the same day by the KSH reveal that in the period December 2017–February 2018, the average number of employed people was 4.44 million, some 70,000 more than a year earlier. The level of employment was higher among men than among women, and the rate of improvement was also higher for men.

In December 2017–February 2018, compared to a year before, the number of employed people increased by 1.6%. The increment in the domestic primary labor market was 129,000, while the number of people declaring work in public employment fell by 40,000 and the number of those working abroad by 20,000.

The overwhelming majority of employed people were aged 15–64, and the employment rate in this age group grew by 1.7 percentage points to 68.7%. The number of employed men aged 15–64 increased by 2.1%, with their employment rate rising by 2.2 percentage points to 75.9%. Among 15–64 year-old women, the employment rate increased by 1.1 percentage points to 61.7%.

Among young people aged 15–24, the number of employed decreased by 10,700 to 291,000, and their employment rate fell 0.4 of a percentage point to 28.2%. The number of employed people increased in both the “best working age” group, i.e. aged 25–54, and in the older, 55–64 age group, where employment rates also grew, by 1.3 percentage points to 83.9% in the former group, and by 3.4 percentage points to 53.8% in the latter age group.

The employment rate among people aged 20–64 – the coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – grew by 1.8 percentage points to 73.9%. The European Union has targeted raising the average employment rate to 75% by 2020; in Hungary, the employment rate in this age group is currently 81.8% for men and 66.2% for women.

Unemployment and employment data for the period January–March 2018 will be published by the KSH on April 27.

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