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Jobless rate drops further to 3.6%

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Hungaryʼs rolling average three-month jobless rate reached 3.6% in September-November 2018, edging down from 3.7% in the previous three-month period, and 3.8% in the corresponding period a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.

The rate, which covers unemployment among those between the ages of 15 and 74, was close to the average for the previous twelve months.

In the period September–November 2018, the average number of unemployed people was 168,700, some 8,800 fewer than a year earlier, while the jobless rate decreased by 0.2 of a percentage point year-on-year to 3.6%.

The number of unemployed and the jobless rate among men aged 15–74 did not change significantly year-on-year, standing at 87,000 and 3.4%, respectively. However, the number of unemployed women declined by around 10,000 to some 81,000, and their jobless rate by 0.5 of a percentage point to 3.9% in September–November.

Among people aged 15–24, accounting for more than one-fifth of the total unemployed, the jobless rate was 10.2%. The jobless rate in the age group 25–54, i.e. persons belonging to the "best working age," was 3.2%, while that of people aged 55–74 was 2.5%. The changes remained within the limits of the sampling error for all age groups.

The average duration of unemployment was 14.6 months; 38.5% of unemployed people had been searching for a job for one year or more, i.e. were classed as long-term unemployed.

As of the end of November 2018, compared to a year earlier, data of the National Employment Service (NFSz) show that the total number of registered job seekers decreased by 5.5% to 243,900.

44,000 more people in work

In the period September–November 2018, the average number of employed people aged 15-74 was 4,494,500, some 44,300 - or 1.0% - more than a year earlier, according to employment data also released by the KSH.

The increment in the domestic primary labor market was 92,900 (up 2.2%), while the number of people working on public work schemes fell by 52,600 (down 28.7%). There was a 3.7% increase in the number of Hungarians working abroad, who numbered 110,200 in the period.

The employment rate among people aged 15–64 increased to 69.7%, up 0.9 of a percentage point year-on-year.

The number of employed men aged 15–64 rose by 0.5%, and their employment rate by 0.7 of a percentage point to 76.8%. Among women aged 15–64, the number of employed grew by 0.8%, and their employment rate by 1.0 percentage point to 62.7%.

Among young people aged 15–24, the employment rate was essentially unchanged at 29.9%. In the "best working age" group of 25–54 years, the employment rate changed within the limits of the sampling error, to 84.0%. In the older, 55–64 age group, the employment rate increased 3.3 percentage points to 55.8%.

The employment rate among people aged 20–64 – the coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – grew by 0.9 of a percentage point to 74.8%. 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 82.6% for men and 67.2% for women.

Unemployment and employment figures for October–December 2018 will be published by the KSH on January 30.

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