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Labor shortage may worsen for decades, expert says

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Despite improving unemployment and employment indicators, Hungary is losing approximately 40,000-50,000 workers annually due to the shrinkage of the working-age population, said Ferenc Rolek, deputy head of business association MGYOSZ (Business Hungary), in an interview with state all-news TV station M1, according to reports today.

According to Rolek, the labor shortage Hungary is experiencing these days has roots in issues with the country’s demography. What is more, Rolek added that he expects the problem to last for decades, according to reports.

According to Hungarian news portal index.hu, Rolek said that skilled manual occupations are less attractive for young people than 20-30 years ago, which he said is understandable. Consequently, he added, young people should be encouraged to enroll in university courses that provide a degree, instead of the government’s current efforts to popularize skilled labor. Rolek stressed that all sectors are facing labor shortages in the country - a situation that is further exacerbated by Hungarians emigrating to West European countries.

Rolek noted that the most vulnerable firms are those which cannot keep up with the market competition and are not able to generate enough revenue to pay more for their employees, such as SMEs. He added that the signs of this tendency are already present and that these companies are in danger of going under.

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