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Labor Minister expects number of employed to increase 40,000

The number of people employed in Hungary could grow as much as 40,000 annually over the following years, assuming economic growth of 4-4.2%, Minister for Employment and Labor Gábor Csizmár told a meeting of the National Association of Employers and Industrialists (MGYOSZ) on Tuesday. Since the last general elections in 2002, about 300,000 jobs have been created, 40,000 more than were eliminated, Csizmár said. The Hungarian Socialist Party's (MSZP) goal of creating 100,000 new jobs during its current term can still be achieved, he added. For the number of employed to grow significantly more, Hungary's economy needs to expand at an annual rate of 4.5-5%, Csizmár said. Only about 57% of Hungary's working-age population is employed, well below the 70% target in the EU. Hungary aims to boost its rate to 65% by 2013, Csizmár said.