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Unemployment rate at 3.6% in Q1

In the period of January–March 2019, the average number of unemployed people in Hungary came to nearly 166,000, and the unemployment rate was 3.6%, unchanged from the previous three-month period but down from 3.9% in Q1 2018, according to the latest data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). 

The KSH noted that the unemployment rate stagnated among men, while the indicator for women improved.

In the first three months of 2019, the number of unemployed men aged 15–74 was around 90,000, with the unemployment rate being 3.5%. In the case of women, the number of unemployed declined by 14,000 to 76,000, and the unemployment rate dropped by 0.7 of a percentage point year-on-year to 3.6%.

Among Hungarians aged 15–24, the number of unemployed grew to 36,000 and the unemployment rate to 11.2%. The KSH said that more than one-fifth of the unemployed belonged to this age group. The unemployment rate in the age group 25–54 was 3.1%, while that among people aged 55–74 was 2.3%.

The average duration of unemployment was 13.9 months; 37.6% of unemployed people had been searching for a job for a year or more.

The unemployment rate was the lowest in Western Transdanubia and Central Transdanubia, at 2.1% and 2.2%, respectively, and the highest in the Northern Great Plain, at 6.5%.

According to administrative data of the National Employment Service, the total number of registered job-seekers decreased by 2% to 279,000 at the end of March 2019 compared to a year earlier.

In the period of January–March 2019, the average number of employed people in Hungary was 4,497,000, some 62,000 - or 1.4% - more than a year earlier. The employment rate among people aged 15–64 increased to 69.9%.

The employment rate among men aged 15–64 increased by 1.4 percentage points to 77.2%, while the employment rate among women aged 15–64 rose by 1.0 percentage point to 62.6%.

Among young people aged 15–24, the employment rate was steady at 28.2%. In the 25–54 age group, the employment rate rose by 0.6 of a percentage point to 84.4%, while in the older, 55–64 age group, the rate grew by 2.5 percentage points to 56.2%.

The employment rate of people aged 20–64 – the coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – grew by 1.2 percentage points to 75.1%. The European Union has set a target of 75% by 2020; in Hungary, the employment rate in this age group is currently 83.1% for men and 67.1% for women.

Unemployment and employment figures for the next three-month period of February–April 2019 will be published on May 29.