Hungary’s jobless rate inches down to 3.5% in May

Hungary’s jobless rate inches down to 3.5% in May
By bne IntelliNews June 24, 2022

The jobless rate in Hungary fell to 3.5% in May from 3.9% a year earlier and from 3.6% in April, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on June 23. At the end of May, there were168,500 people out of work, down from 189,400 a year ago and 7,800 fewer than a month earlier,

The rolling three-month average jobless rate stood at 3.4% in May, slipping from 3.5 in April and 4.1% twelve months earlier. The monthly jobless rate for the 15-64 age group stood at 3.5%, down from 3.6% in the previous month and 4% a year earlier.

The jobless rate in the 15-24 age group decreased from 12.4% to 9.9% but accounted for 17.6% of the total unemployed.

The number of people working abroad rose by 18,000 in one year and the number of people in public employment decreased slightly by 5,000 to 78,000. Hungary's jobless rate would be closer to 5% if  workers in public work schemes were included. 

The average time spent looking for a job was 9.9 months, and 36% of the unemployed had been looking for a job for at least a year.

The KSH noted that data from the National Employment Service (NFSZ) show there were 234,000 registered jobseekers at the end of May, down 14.7% y/y.

The number of employed rose at a faster pace than the decline in the number of jobless. At the end of May, there were 4.69mn employed, 99,000 more than a year earlier, including 87,000 in the primary job market.

The employment rate for the 15-74 age group reached 63.9% in May, level with the rate in April, but up from 62.6% twelve months earlier. In absolute terms, there were 4.7mn employed in May, 1,600 fewer than in April, but 79,600 more than 12 months earlier.

The job market is close to full employment and the number of employed is rising at a slow rate relative to the number of unfilled positions, indicating the low quality of the labour pool and skill and geographical mismatches, according to Magyar Bankholding, which put the full-year jobless rate at 3.1%

Hungary’s tight labour market and lack of available workforce are driving up wages, adding to inflationary pressures. On the other hand, strong wage outflow is keeping aggregate demand in the economy high, lending support to economic growth, ING Bank said.