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KSH: Hungary’s jobless rate reaches 7.8% in Jan-March

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The average unemployment rate among Hungarians between the ages of 15 and 74 dropped to 7.8% in January-March, from the 8.3% of the same period a year earlier, but increased from 7.7% in December-February, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said today.

The office added that the number of employed young people aged 15–24 years was 264,000, and their employment rate increased by 1.3 percentage points to 23.9%. The number of employed people in the ‘best working age’, i.e. the group aged 25–54 years, and those 55–64 years of age increased as well, with the employment rate growing by 1.3 percentage points to 79.5% in the former and by 2.8 percentage points to 43.0% in the latter age group, KSH said.

KSH noted that data are calculated in line with International Labor Organization standards and include people with all forms of employment contracts who have worked more than one hour a week during the period or are on sick leave or paid absence.

The data also include those employed in public work schemes and those working abroad for less than one year. Fostered workers are employed by the government and paid less than minimum wage to work at jobs such as street sweepers or Metro ticket takers.

The National Employment Office (NFSZ) said on its website last Friday that approximately 462,000 job seekers were registered in Hungary at the end of March, up from 431,500 a year earlier and 430,700 at the end of the previous month. The NFSZ said 22.1% of this group had been seeking work for more than one year, down 6.4 percentage points from a year earlier. 

State secretary for social affairs Károly Czibere said at a conference yesterday that the Hungarian government is expected to allocate the equivalent of 1% of GDP for fostered work programs next year, up from this year, adding that spending on fostered work programs rose to HUF 270 bln this year from HUF 230 bln in 2014.

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