Commentary Employment

Hungarian employment above EU’s 2020 goal

The Hungarian employment rate among working-age people (15-64) has risen by 1.2 percentage points year-on-year to 69.9 percent, and that of the age group 20 to 64 to 75.1 percent at the end of the first quarter.

Hungary’s employment rate has inched above the European Union’s 75 percent target for 2020, conservative news portal Mandiner reports.

The rate among working-age people (15-64) has risen by 1.2 percentage points year-on-year to 69.9 percent, and that of the age group 20 to 64 to 75.1 percent at the end of the first quarter.

At the same time, data from the Central Statistics Office (KSH) showed that unemployment remained at a low of 3.6 percent. For the past year and a half unemployment has been hovering between 3.6 and 3.8 percent, a level most economists consider full employment.

ING analyst Péter Virovácz – who considers this the lowest achievable unemployment level – told Mandiner that given the regional disparities in workforce supply and demand a further reduction is unrealistic. He said that similarly, a further increase in employment levels is highly unlikely given the low supply of unemployed, qualified workers.

Gábor Regős, analyst at think-tank Századvég noted that employment levels have risen despite a fall in the number of those in public work schemes and a sizeable workforce layoff in public administration.

Erste Bank macroeconomic analyst Orsolya Nyeste said that a sustained workforce demand from employers will keep wage rises on track, which in turn would sustain increasing domestic consumption, thereby contributing to a rise in the gross domestic product.

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