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Hungarian self-employment rate slightly below EU average in 2005

Hungary's rate of self-employment in the non-financial business sector was 14.6% in 2005, compared to the European Union average of 16%, according to a Eurostat news release published on Thursday.

Among the 25 EU member states, self-employment was the most prevalent in southern Europe in 2005, with Greece registering the highest rate of non-business-sector self-employment at 31.9%, followed by Italy at 28.7%, Cyprus at 24% and Portugal at 20.9%. Self-employment was lowest in the three Baltic states, with a rate of only a 6.7% in Latvia, 7.7% in Estonia and 8.8% in Lithuania.
Among Hungarian men, 17.1% of those working in the non-financial business sector were self-employed in 2005, compared to an EU average of 18.7%. Among Hungarian women, 10.5% were self-employed during that year, compared to an EU average of 10.8%.
The construction industry accounted for the highest rate of self-employment by sector at 25%. The European Commission statistical office's news release also contained data from 2003 regarding employment by the size of enterprise in the 25 EU member states. According to these statistics, 35.9% of the Hungarians working in the non-financial business sector were engaged at micro-enterprises employing 9 or fewer people in 2003, compared to an EU average of 29.8%. The number of Hungarians employed at SMEs with 10-250 workers and large enterprises with more than 250 workers were all below the EU average in 2003. In all member states for which data are available, large enterprises employing more than 250 generated a larger share of added value than jobs. The gap was largest in Poland (22 percentage points), Hungary (19 pp - with these companies having 29.2% of the employment and 48.2% of value added generated by non-financial businesses) and Portugal (16 pp).