Jobless rate drops further to 3.7% in March-May

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The rolling three-month average rate of joblessness in Hungary for March–May 2018 decreased by 0.7 of a percentage point year-on-year to 3.7%, slightly down on the 3.8% rate recorded in February-April. Meanwhile, the employment rate among Hungarians aged 15–64 grew by 1.4 percentage points to 69.1%.

In the period March–May 2018, the average number of unemployed people was 170,600, some 32,500 fewer than a year earlier, show the latest data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

Compared to the corresponding three-month period of 2017, the rate of unemployment among men aged 15–74 dropped by 0.7 of a percentage point to 3.5%. For women, the rate of change was similar, as the unemployment rate fell by 0.8 of a percentage point to 4.0%.

The jobless rate among Hungarians aged 15–24 decreased by 2.1 percentage points to 8.8% in March-May. One-sixth of the unemployed belonged to this age group. The unemployment rate in the 25–54 age group, i.e. among persons belonging to the "best working age," declined by 0.4 of a percentage point to 3.5%, while that of people aged 55–74 fell by 1.5 percentage points to 2.5%.

The average duration of unemployment was 17.9 months; 45.3% of unemployed people had been searching for a job for one year or more, i.e. were long-term unemployed.

At the end of May 2018, compared to a year earlier, administrative data of the National Employment Service (NFSz) show that the total number of registered job seekers had decreased by 15.1% to 244,200. Some 28.6% of the total had been seeking work for more than one year, down 11.2 percentage points from a year earlier, while about 9.2% of registered job seekers were unemployed school-leavers.

64,000 more people in work

In the period March–May 2018, the average number of employed people aged 15-74 was 4,457,000, some 64,300 or 1.5% more than recorded in the equivalent period a year earlier.

The increment in the domestic primary labor market was 108,000, while the number of people declaring work in public employment decreased by 41,000, and the number of Hungarians working abroad changed within the limits of the sampling error.

The employment rate among Hungarians aged 15–64 increased by 1.4 percentage points to 69.1%. The number of employed men rose by 1.7%, and their employment rate by 1.7 percentage points to 76.0%. Among 15–64 year-old women, the number of employed grew by 1.0%, and their employment rate by 1.2 percentage points to 62.2%.

Broken down by age groups, employment among young people aged 15–24 years changed within the limits of the sampling error, with an employment rate of 28.4% in March-May. The number of employed people increased in both the "best working age" group, i.e. aged 25–54, and in the older, 55–64 age group, with employment rates rising by 1.0 percentage point to 84.3% in the former group, and by 2.7 percentage points to 53.5% in the latter.

The employment rate among people aged 20–64 – the coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – grew by 1.5 percentage points to 74.2%. The European Union has targeted raising the average employment rate to 75% by 2020; in Hungary, the employment rate in this age group is currently 81.9% for men, and 66.7% for women.

Unemployment and employment data for the next three-month period of April–June 2018 will be published on July 27.

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