Labour market information

Print this page

Hungary - National Level

Short overview of the labour market


The population of Hungary was 9 798 000 on 1 January 2017, and is the result of a continuous decline, with an additional fall of 0.33% against the previous year.

Based on the Labour Market Survey data for the fourth quarter of 2017, the economically active population aged 15-74 numbered 4 622 600, with the participation rate standing at 62.1%. Of the active population, 4 447 400 were in employment, while 175 200 were unemployed. Employment in Hungary entered a growth period in 2017; various government measures contributed significantly to the growth in the number of people employed.

The employment rate was 59.8% of the population aged 15-74, a rise of 1.0 percentage point (ppt) against the same quarter in 2016.

The number of persons in the 15–74 age group considered as being unemployed under the ILO definition has been declining since the January-March period of 2015, and it also followed the seasonal trend in this quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2017 the number of people unemployed as defined by the ILO had already reached the 200 000 mark, standing at 175 200, which is well below the pre-crisis figure (second quarter of 2008: 315 500).

In the second half of 2017, the average month-end number of jobseekers on the National Employment Service (NFSZ) register was 257 700, a significant drop compared to previous quarters. One of the causes of this change is the different pattern of development of workfare schemes during the year as well as their increasing dominance on the Hungarian labour market.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, 10.2% of jobseekers were looking for their first job; their numbers following the trend of the total number of jobseekers, with a decline compared to the second half of 2016. 

Of all jobseekers 44.0% had completed the maximum eight years of primary education, 23.2% had graduated from a vocational school or a skilled workers training school, another 27.1% had obtained a secondary school leaving certificate, and 5.7% held a degree from a higher education institution. The proportion of first-time jobseekers with only the maximum eight years of primary education was 46.0%, while another 38.5% had obtained a secondary school leaving certificate and a further 4.2% had obtained a degree from a higher education institution. 

From a regional perspective, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg counties had the highest number of jobseekers (35 000 and 29 200 respectively), and the composition of jobseekers by level of education is typically less favourable than the national average in those regions where the labour market situation is worse. On a year-on-year basis, the average number of jobseekers declined over the past 12 months in nearly every county. The highest rate of decline has occurred in Budapest (18.1 ppt) and Tolna County (14.9 ppt). 

By the end of 2017, labour offices received notifications of collective job losses affecting a total of 23 600 people. The number of dismissals reported decreased by 12.9 ppt against the same period of the previous year.


Text last edited on: 10/2018

Are you satisfied with the information provided on this page?

Need help?  
Need help?