Hungary’s jobless rate was at 3.9% in October, edging down from 4.0% in September and 4.1% in 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 188,500 unemployed, 6,200 fewer than in September and 8,600 fewer than in the same month a year earlier.
The rolling three-month average jobless rate was 3.8% in October. KSH noted that data from the National Employment Service (NFSZ) show there were 246,000 registered jobseekers at the end of October, down 19.6% from twelve months earlier. The employment rate for the 15-74 age group reached 63.8% in October, level with the rate in September. In absolute terms, there were 4,687,800 employed, 1,200 more than in September and up 86,300 from twelve months earlier. The number of economically active people in the age group stood at 4,876,300, giving Hungary an activity rate of 66.4%.
ING Bank chief analyst Péter Virovácz said the unemployment rate has been basically unchanged for six months, and the number of unemployed was broadly the same as in May or July. The small decrease in October could be attributed to some people quitting the job market, not an increase in employment, he said. ING analysts do not expect the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic to cause serious problems on the labour market. By the end of the year the unemployment rate could drop to 3.8%, he said.
Takarékbank analyst András Horváth said unemployment was likely to be 4% this year and 3.3% in 2022. Steps taken by the government to preserve workplaces have substantially contributed to protecting jobs, he said. In H2 labour market conditions became similar to those in 2019, characterised by labour shortages and intense wage competition between firms.