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Unemployment rate up slightly in Q1

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In January–March 2018, the rolling three-month average number of unemployed people was 178,000, some 29,000 fewer than a year earlier, as the unemployment rate decreased by 0.7 of a percentage point to 3.9% year-on-year, data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH) show. However, the rate was up slightly from the preceding three-month measurement.

The three-month rate rose slightly in January–March, from the rate of 3.8% where it had stagnated since September-November last year, the first time the rate has risen since last February-April 2017. 

In January–March, compared to the first three months of 2017, the number of unemployed men aged 15–74 decreased by 21,000 to 88,000, and their unemployment rate by 0.9 of a percentage point to 3.5%. Among women, the drop was smaller, as the number of unemployed declined by 8,000 to 90,000, and the jobless rate by 0.4 of a percentage point to 4.3%. 

The number of unemployed people aged 15–24 changed within the limits of the sampling error, showing a jobless rate of 10.4%. Nearly one-fifth of the unemployed belonged to this age group.

The unemployment rate in the 25–54 age group, i.e. persons belonging to the ‘best working age,’ fell by 0.4 of a percentage point  year-on-year to 3.6%, while the jobless rate among those aged 55–74 decreased by 1.8 percentage points to 2.3%.

The average duration of joblessness decreased to 16.4 months; 39.8% of unemployed people had been searching for a job for one year or more, i.e. were classed as long-term unemployed. 

The jobless rate among people aged 15–74 increased slightly in Southern Transdanubia, Central Transdanubia and Budapest, but these changes were within the limits of the sampling error. In the other regions of Hungary, unemployment decreased, with significant drops occurring in Northern Hungary and Northern Great Plain; although the rate fell by 1.9 percentage points in both latter regions, unemployment remained higher than the national average, at 4.9% and 6.6%, respectively.

The unemployment rate was the highest, at 6.9%, in Southern Transdanubia, and the lowest, 1.8%, in Western Transdanubia. 

At the end of March 2018, compared to a year earlier, administrative data of the National Employment Service show that the total number of registered jobseekers decreased by 18.9% to 285,000.

67,000 more people in work y-o-y in Q1

Employment figures also released today by the KSH show that in the period of January–March, the average number of employed people was 4,435,000, some 67,000 - or 1.5% - more than a year earlier.

The increment in the domestic primary labour market was nearly 125,000 (up 3.1% year-on-year), while the number of people declaring work in public employment decreased by 42,000 (down 21%), and those working abroad by 15,000 (down 13.6%).

The rate of employment among Hungarians aged 15–64 rose by 1.6 percentage points compared to the equivalent period of 2017, to 68.7%. The number of employed men aged 15–64 increased by 2.0% to just under 2.4 million, with the employment rate up 2.0 percentage points to 75.8%, while among women aged 15–64, the number of employed grew marginally to a little under 2 million, and the employment rate by 1.1 percentage points to 61.6%. 

Among young people aged 15–24, the employment rate fell 0.7 of a percentage point to 27.7%. The number of employed people increased in both the ‘best working age’ group, i.e. aged 25–54, and in the older, 55–64 age group, with employment rates rising by 1.1 percentage points to 83.9% in the former, and by 3.6 percentage points to 53.6% in the latter age group. 

The employment rate among people aged 20–64 – the coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – grew by 1.7 percentage points to 73.8%. 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 81.7% for men and 66.1% for women. 

The level of employment among the population aged 15–64 increased in almost all Hungaryʼs regions, with the most significant growth of 3.7 percentage points occurring in Western Transdanubia. In Budapest, the decrease in employment was within the limits of the sampling error, at 0.5 of a percentage point.

The employment rate was the highest in Western Transdanubia (73.5%), and the lowest in Southern Transdanubia (62.3%).

Unemployment and employment data for the three-month period of February–April 2018 will be published by the KSH on May 29.

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