Labour market information

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Hungary - National Level

Short overview of the labour market


The population of Hungary was 9 773 000 on 1 January 2019, which is the result of a continuous decline, with an additional fall of 0.05 % against the previous year.

Based on the Labour Force Survey data for the third quarter of 2019, the economically active population aged 15-74 numbered 4 683 500, with the participation rate standing at 63.1 %. Of the active population, 4 521 000 were in employment, while 162 500 were unemployed. Employment in Hungary continued to grow in 2019; various government measures contributed significantly to the growth in the number of people employed.

The employment rate of the population aged 15-74 was 60.9 %, representing a rise of 0.5 percentage points against the same quarter in 2018.

The number of people in the 15-74 age group considered unemployed under the ILO definition has been declining since the period of January to March 2015, and it followed the seasonal trend in this quarter as well. In the third quarter of 2019, the number of people considered unemployed under the ILO definition was 162 500, which is well below the pre-economic crisis figures (second quarter of 2008: 315 500).

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the average number of jobseekers registered by the National Employment Service (NFSZ) at the monthly closing dates was 237 800, a significant decline compared to the previous quarters.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, 8.9 % of jobseekers were looking for their first job; their number followed the same trend as the total number of jobseekers, showing a decline compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. 

42.5 % of all jobseekers had completed the maximum 8 years of primary education, 22.7 % had graduated from a vocational or skilled workers’ training school, another 25.9 % had passed the secondary school leaving examination, and 6.4 % held a college or university degree. The proportion of first-time jobseekers with only the 8 years of primary education or less was 43.1 %, while another 38 % had passed the secondary school leaving examination, and a further 4.1 % had obtained a college or university degree. 

From a regional perspective, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg counties had the highest number of jobseekers (34 300 and 24 300, respectively), and in the regions where the labour market situation is worse, the composition of jobseekers by level of education also tends to be less favourable than the national average. The annual fall in the average number of jobseekers was greatest in Budapest (8.8 %) and in Pest County (6.1 %). 

By the end of 2019, labour offices received notifications of collective redundancies affecting a total of 3 900 people. The number of redundancies reported decreased by 29.5 % against the same period of the previous year.


Text last edited on: 05/2020

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