KSH: Hungary’s jobless rate drops to 6.8% in May-July

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The average unemployment rate among Hungarians between the ages of 15 and 74 dropped to 6.8% in May-July, down from 8.0% in the same period last year, and also down from 6.9% in the April-June period of this year, Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH) reported early this morning. These figures include among the employed government workers who are paid less than minimum wage to perform menial labor. 

The number of registered jobseekers also fell to 362,000 in July, down from 414,200 in the same period a year earlier and down from 366,900 in June of this year, the National Employment Office (NFSZ) reported on its website yesterday.

Data by KSH 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, as well as those employed in public work schemes and those working abroad for less than one year.

An earlier report noted that employment figures are distorted by the inclusion of fostered workers – who are employed by the government and paid less than minimum wage to work at jobs such as street sweepers or metro ticket takers, or even to help build the temporary fence being erected on the Hungarian-Serbian border to slow the influx of migrants. 

Data by KSH suggest that the number of unemployed individuals averaged 305,800 in May-July, while the number of employed people averaged 4,223,800. Average employment in May-July was 138,700 higher than in the same period a year earlier.

There were 3,009,600 economically inactive Hungarians – those neither employed nor seeking work in the 15-74 age group during the period, down from 3,132,900 a year earlier, KSH said, adding that at the same time, the activity rate rose to 60.1% from 58.6%.

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