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KSH: Unemployment rate improves to 8.3% in Q1 2014

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The Central Statistics Office (KSH) today reported a 3.5% year-on-year decrease in Hungary’s unemployment rate to 8.3% for 2014 through March. Approximately 370,000 Hungarian citizens were unemployed in the first quarter of the year, an improvement on the 509,000 on the dole reported for Q1 2013.

Among males, the unemployment rate decreased some 4.3% y.o.y. to 8.1%. Females saw a 2.5% y.o.y. decline to 8.5%. The unemployment rate of those aged 25- to 54-years old, designated as those of “prime working age”, decreased 3.3% y.o.y. to 7.5%.

KSH also reported decreasing unemployment in each of the seven statistical regions of Hungary.

According to data from the National Labour Office, at the end of March 2014, the total number of registered jobseekers was 431,000, a 30.4% y.o.y. decrease.

In connection with this release of the statistics, national news service MTI assured that the data “are in line with ILO (International Labour Organisation) statistics 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.”

Not many statistics exist on most of the above-listed qualifying conditions, though the National Interior Ministry earlier this month reported that nearly 230,000 had been employed in the third week of March as fostered workers in public work schemes. Typically earning a fraction of the general “minimum” wage, these workers would represent approximately 6.4% of the 4.078 million employed in Hungary reported by KSH for the quarter.

And earlier this year, some 462,000 Hungarian citizens – most employed – were living abroad. Assuming like 91.7% employment, Hungary’s émigrés could represent another 10.4% of those employed “in Hungary” depending on how loosely the phrase “for less than one year” within the new statistical formulation is interpreted.

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