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Jobless rate falls to 3.8% in Q4 2017

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In October–December 2017, the average number of unemployed people in Hungary was 175,000, some 30,000 fewer than a year earlier, as the jobless rate fell by 0.7 of a percentage point to 3.8%. The full-year average jobless rate was down 1.0 percentage point to 4.2%, a first release of data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH) shows.

In October–December 2017, compared to Q4 2016, the number of unemployed among men aged 15–74 decreased by 27,000 to 83,000, and their jobless rate by 1.1 percentage points to 3.3%. As for women, the number of unemployed declined within the limits of the sampling error to 92,000, and their jobless rate fell to 4.4%.

The jobless rate in the 15–24 age group decreased by 1.4 percentage points to 10.2% in Q4, and yet one-fifth of the unemployed still belonged to this age group. The unemployment rate among those aged 25–54 - i.e. persons belonging to the "best working age" - fell by 0.4 of a percentage point to 3.4%, while the jobless rate in the older 55–64 age group fell by 1.2 percentage points to 2.7%.

The average duration of unemployment decreased to 15.6 months; some 40% of unemployed people had been searching for a job for one year or more, i.e. were classed as long-term unemployed.

The unemployment rate of people aged 15–74 increased in the regions of Transdanubia, while decreasing in Central Hungary and the eastern regions of Hungary. The most significant change occurred in the Northern Great Plain, where the unemployment rate fell by 1.6 percentage points to 6.4%; nevertheless, the level of unemployment remained the highest here, while the lowest figure was 2.2% in Central Hungary.

At the end of December 2017, compared to a year earlier, data of the National Employment Service (NFSz) show that the total number of registered job seekers fell by 6.9% to 255,000.

Jobless numbers fall most among young in 2017

The annual average number of unemployed in 2017 was 192,000, around 43,000 fewer than in 2016. The average jobless rate over the full year was 4.2%, 1.0 percentage point lower than the previous year.

In the full year January–December 2017, the rate of unemployment among men aged 15–74 fell by 1.3 percentage points compared to 2016, to 3.8%, while the jobless rate among women dropped by 0.5 of a percentage point to 4.6%.

The change in 2017 as a whole was the most significant among young people, as their unemployment rate decreased by 2.2 percentage points to 10.7%. The jobless rates among the 25–54 and 55-64 age groups decreased by the same extent, by 0.8 of a percentage point, to 3.7% in the former and 3.6% in the latter age group.

Unemployment data for the next three-month period of November 2017–January 2018 will be published by the KSH on February 27.

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