The recent expansion of the primary labour market has continued during the winter: the number of people working in a private sector job has increased by 87 thousand year-on-year, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said, commenting on the latest labour market data.

In line with the Government’s objectives, the number of people working abroad and as a public work employee fell by 20 thousand and 33 thousand, respectively, over the past one year, he noted. This was mainly attributable to double-digit wage growth, caused by the six-year wage agreement, and various targeted labour policy measures. Concurrently, the unemployment rate has decreased from 12 percent in 2010 to the unprecedented level of 3.8 percent, he stated.

As the Minister stressed, the Government-initiated six-year wage agreement, which stipulates significant wage hikes and tax reductions, has been stimulating enterprises to implement pro-competitiveness measures and increase the number of employees in high value-added jobs.

Thanks to economic stimulus measures, the number of people in employment has by now hit 4 million 436 thousand in Hungary, up by 570 thousand in the private sector alone since the change of government in 2010. Also as a result of favourable economic conditions, in the period November 2017-January 2018 the number of jobless people fell to 174 thousand, by 24 thousand year-on-year, and the unemployment rate has thus remained at a record low of 3.8 percent in the past three months.

When compared to international data, Hungarian statistics show that the country has the fourth lowest unemployment rate within the EU, behind the Czech Republic, Germany and Malta, according to data from December 2017.

The main tasks of the future include, he added, the strengthening of vocational education programmes and the extension of dual education schemes, the activation of labour reserves, facilitating labour mobility and thus the promotion of further employment growth.

(Ministry for National Economy)