About 22% of Hungarian companies plan layoffs in the first quarter of 2012, while just 8% plan new hires, the latest survey by staffing company Manpower shows.
The 14 percentage point difference between the two figures is the widest gap ever, showing employers are the most pessimistic since Q3 2009, Manpower Magyarorszag managing director Judit Kiss said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The representative survey of 750 employers shows 65% of employers plan no changes to headcount in Q1 2012.
Ms Kiss said the outlook for Hungary’s labour market had deteriorated by 15 percentage points compared to both the previous quarter and the same period a year earlier. The outlook is the second-most pessimistic in Europe, after Greece, she added.
The largest proportion of companies that plan layoffs are in the construction industry, said Manpower marketing director Katalin Szekeres. One-third of a hundred companies surveyed in the sector plan lay-offs in Q1 2012 and just 6% plan to make new hires, she added.