Jobless Rate Falls to 3.9% in May


Hungary’s jobless rate was 3.9% in May, falling half a percentage point from the previous month and 0.6 pp from the same month a year earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said.


The rate covers unemployment among people between the ages of 15 and 74. In absolute terms, there were 189,400 unemployed, down 21,700 from the previous month and 25,600 less than a year earlier. The monthly employment rate for the 15-74 age group rose to 62.6% in May, edging up 0.7 of a percentage point from a month earlier. In absolute terms, there were 4,606,500 employed, 47,200 more than a month earlier and up 54,700 from twelve months earlier.

Sándor Bodó, state secretary for employment policy at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, told public broadcaster M1 that positive changes were taking place in the labour market, with an employment rate of 72.6% among all able-bodied people, while the jobless rate of 3.9% was a leading indicator in Europe.

He noted a strong private sector combined with a fall in the number of people working in public works schemes. Also, Hungarians are showing flexibility in the labour market, which has started to be more mobile, he added. Even the hospitality and tourism sector is showings signs of picking up, he said. Further, he added, an increasing number of companies are signalling a shortage of skilled labour and difficulties finding seasonal workers in agriculture.

K&H lead analyst Dávid Németh said he expected labour market indicators to improve and a labour shortage to re-emerge soon. Takarékbank lead analyst András Horváth said the labour market appeared to be recovering after the third wave of the pandemic, and might once again become tight by the late summer. He said he expected the rate of unemployment to fall to 3.7% by late 2021. Gábor Regős of Századvég said a chance for further improvement in the employment rate was foreseeable. There might be a labour shortage particularly in the pandemic-hit sectors whose dismissed workers found employment elsewhere, he said.


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