A net 20,000-25,000 new jobs are expected to be created in Hungary this year, as 33,000 jobs created in the private sector will counteract big public sector layoffs, Minister for Social and Labor Affairs Péter Kiss said on Thursday when he presented a labor market forecast based on a joint survey by the ministry and the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK).
About 24% of Hungarian-owned companies plan to make new hires in 2007, according to the survey of 6,046 companies conducted between October 1 and November 17. 42% of foreign-owned companies said the same.
Some 9% of the companies said they were struggling with labor shortage. While 12% of manufacturing companies, 16% of financial service providers and 11% of construction companies reported labor shortage, fewer companies said they planned to hire more staff in other sectors, Kiss said. He noted that the figures show the government was justified in its decision to partially open Hungary's labor market to workers from Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU on January 1, 2007.
The survey showed that Hungarian companies are using 87% of their capacity on average, 5 percentage points more than a year earlier, Kiss said. Companies with more than 250 employees said they were using 90% of their capacity, while companies with 10-19 workers used 82% of their capacity and microbusinesses used 79% of capacity.
MKIK president László Parragh noted that companies producing mainly for export markets are better off in terms of using capacity than companies relying mainly on the domestic market.