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Average unemployment drops to 3.7% over 2018

Hungaryʼs rolling average three-month jobless rate reached 3.6% in October-December 2018, down from 3.8% a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.  The rate of employment among the population aged 15–64 was 69.5% in the period, 0.7 of a  percentage point higher year-on-year.

In the period October–December 2018, the average number of unemployed people was 167,200, some 8,000 fewer than a year earlier, with the jobless rate falling 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.6%.

The unemployment rate among men aged 15–74 increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.5% year-on-year, while among women, the jobless rate declined by 0.7 of a percentage point to 3.7%.

Among people aged 15–24, the unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 10.1%. One-fifth of the unemployed belonged to this age group. The unemployment rate of the age group 25–54, i.e. persons belonging to the "best working age," decreased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 3.2% compared to October–December 2017, while joblessness among people aged 55–74 was up 0.1 of a percentage point at 2.6%.

The average duration of unemployment was 14.8 months; 39.1% of unemployed people had been searching for a job for one year or more, i.e. were classed as long-term unemployed.

Regionally, the unemployment rate was the highest in Northern Great Plain (6.7%), and lowest in Western Transdanubia (2.2%).

At the end of December 2018, compared to a year earlier, administrative data of the National Employment Service (NFSz) show that the total number of registered jobseekers decreased by 5.0% to 242,000, the KSH noted.

In the entire year January–December 2018, compared to 2017, the average number of unemployed aged 15–74 decreased by some 20,000 to 172,000, and the unemployment rate diminished by 0.4 of a percentage point to 3.7%.

The average jobless rate among men in 2018 fell by 0.3 of a percentage point to 3.5%, while the rate for women fell by 0.6 of a percentage point to 4.0% during the year.

The jobless rate in the younger age group fell 0.5 of a percentage point to 10.2%, while the rate in the 25–54 age group declined by 0.3 of a percentage point to 3.4% in 2018 as a whole. The most significant change occurred among people aged 55–74, whose jobless rate declined by a full percentage point to 2.4%.

Employment rises steadily in 2018

In the period October–December 2018, the average number of employed people aged 15-74 was 4,481,300, almost 34,000 - or 0.8% - more than the corresponding three-month period a year earlier.

The increment in the domestic primary labor market was 73,100 (up 1.8%), while the number of people declaring work in public employment fell by 46,700 (down 26.2%). There was an increase of some 7,500 people working abroad (up 7.5%).

The vast majority of employed people were aged 15-64, among whom the employment rate rose 0.7 of a percentage point to 69.5%.

The number of employed men aged 15–64 increased by 0.3%, and their employment rate by 0.5 of a percentage point to 76.6% in October–December. Among 15–64 year-old women, the number of employed grew by 0.6%, and their employment rate by 0.9 of a percentage point to 62.6%.

According to age group, the rate of employment among young people aged 15–24 years remained essentially unchanged at 29.8%. In the "best working age," i.e. the 25–54 age group, the employment rate was down only slightly, within the limits of the sampling error, at 83.8%. Employment in the older, 55–64 age group increased by 2.6 percentage points to 55.6%.

Employment among people aged 20–64 – the coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – grew by 0.7 of a percentage point to 74.7%. The European Union has targeted raising average employment to 75% by 2020; in Hungary, the employment rate in this age group is currently 82.3% for men, and 67.1% for women, the KSH noted.

Regionally, the employment situation remained the most favorable in Budapest, where the employment rate was 73.1%. The lowest rate of employment was in Southern Transdanubia, at 65.0%.

The annual average number of employed people in Hungary in 2018 as a whole was 4,469,000, around 48,000 more than in 2017. The employment rate among the population aged 15–64 was 69.2% in 2018, 1.1 percentage points higher than in the previous year. The average rate of employment was 76.3% for men, and 62.3% for women, across the entire year.

In 2018, the employment rate among young people remained at 29.0%, while rising by 0.4 of a percentage point to 84.1% in the 25–54 age group, and by 2.7 percentage points to 54.4% among the older population aged 55–64.

In the age group 20–64, the employment rate rose by 1.1 percentage points to 74.4% in 2018 overall.

Unemployment and employment data for the next three-month rolling period of November 2018–January 2019 will be published on February 27.