Unemployment rate falls to 3.8%

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The rolling three-month average rate of unemployment in Hungary fell by 0.7 of a percentage point to 3.8% in February–April 2018, compared to the corresponding period of 2017, the latest data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH) show. Meanwhile, the employment rate among Hungarians aged 15–64 rose to 68.8%.

In February–April 2018, the average number of jobless people was 177,000, some 32,000 fewer than in the equivalent period of 2017. The unemployment rate has remained steady at around 3.8% for about half a year.

The number of unemployed men aged 15–74 decreased by 20,000 to 87,000 year-on-year, and their jobless rate by 0.8 of a percentage point to 3.4%. With women, the rate of change was smaller, as the number of unemployed declined by 12,000 to 90,000, and the jobless rate by 0.6 of a percentage point to 4.3%.

Unemployment among people aged 15–24 changed within the limits of the sampling error, with a jobless rate of 9.6%. More than one-sixth of the total unemployed belonged to this age group.

The unemployment rate among the 25–54 age group, i.e. persons belonging to the "best working age," fell by 0.5 of a percentage point to 3.6%, while that among people aged 55–74 decreased more sharply, by 1.7 percentage points to 2.5%.

The average duration of unemployment was 17.1 months; 43.5% of unemployed people had been searching for a job for one year or more, i.e. were long-term unemployed.

At the end of April 2018, compared to a year earlier, administrative data of the National Employment Service show that the total number of registered job seekers decreased by 16.1% to 258,000.

67,000 more people in work in Feb-April, y-o-y

Employment figures also released by the KSH today show that in the three-month period of February–April 2018, the average number of employed people was 4,445,000, some 67,000 - or 1.5% - more than a year earlier.

The increment in the domestic primary labor market was 128,000, while the number of people declaring work in public employment decreased by 46,000 and the number of those working abroad dropped by 15,000.

The employment rate among Hungarians aged 15–64 grew by 1.5 percentage points year-on-year to 68.8%. The number of employed men aged 15–64 increased by 2.1% to 2,406,000, and their employment rate rose by 2.0 percentage points to 76.0%. Among 15–64 year-old women, the number of employed grew to 1,987,000, and their employment rate by 1.0 percentage point to 61.8%.

Employment among young people aged 15–24 years changed within the limits of the sampling error, with a rate of employment of 28.2%. The number of employed people increased in both the "best working age" category of 25–54 years and the older, 55–64 age group, while their employment rates also grew, by 1.1 percentage points to 84.1% in the former, and by 3.0 percentage points to 53.3% in the latter.

The employment rate of people aged 20–64 – the coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – grew by 1.6 percentage points to 74.0%. 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 81.9% for men, and 66.3% for women.

Unemployment and employment data for the next three-month period of March–May 2018 will be published on June 28.

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