Labour market information

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Hungary - Kozep-Magyarorszag

Short overview of the labour market



The labour market analysis is based on data from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) for the first quarter of 2020. According to the latest data from the labour force survey, in the first quarter of 2020, the economically active population aged 15–74 in Budapest numbered 872 200, and the inactive population was 440 800.

The participation rate increased by 0.6 percentage point against the same period of the previous year, to 66.4 %.

In the first quarter of 2020, there were 849 700 people employed in the capital, which is 7 600 more than in the first quarter of 2019. In the case of Budapest, this indicator has improved significantly and has practically reached the level approaching full employment. As opposed to the decline of 31 300 on a national scale, in Budapest, the number of those employed increased by 0.9 percentage point. The unemployment rate was 2.6 %, which is equal to the rate recorded in the same period of the previous year.

In the capital, the figures regarding the unemployment, participation and employment rates are distinctly more favourable than the national average, as the unemployment rate was 1.2 percentage points lower and the participation and employment rates were 3.8 percentage points and 4.5 percentage points higher, respectively.

The data indicated a deterioration in the second quarter due to the economic impacts of the COVID pandemic, but the exact figures have not been published by the KSH yet.

The negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the labour market is manifest in the data of the National Employment Service regarding the first half of 2020. Compared to the same period of the previous years, such a monthly increase in the number of unemployed people was unprecedented, since the labour market had been usually characterised by stagnation.

In Budapest, the number of jobseekers registered by the employment departments of district offices was 13 806 in June 2019; a year later, as at the closing day of June, it amounted to 29 528, representing a rise of 46.7 % year on year.

In June 2020, 42.8 % of registered jobseekers were male and 57.2 % were female.

The number of registered first-time jobseekers increased to 680 (from 391 in the same period of 2019). In 2019, they accounted for 2.3 % of all registered jobseekers, while in the same period of 2020, they represented 2.8 %.

Pest County

Central Hungary is the most economically significant and also the most developed region in Hungary. It comprises the capital city of Budapest and Pest County.

According to the latest data from the KSH Labour Force Survey, in the first quarter of 2020, 636 000 people in the 15–74 age group were economically active in Pest County, which represents an increase of more than 1 000 against the previous year.

The participation rate fell by 0.3 percentage point to 64.7 % during the year, one of the highest participation rates in Hungary.

There were 619 800 people employed and 16 200 unemployed.

The unemployment rate was 2.5 % (in this respect, Baranya County is in the worst position, with an unemployment rate over three times that of Pest County).

The economically inactive population aged 15–74 years numbered 346 400, which represents a decline of over 12 000 on the previous year.

The data of the National Employment Service indicate a decline in unemployment in the second half of 2019, followed by a significant increase in the first half of 2020.

The average quarterly number of registered jobseekers in the county rose considerably during the past six months due to the prevailing extraordinary situation (18 300; 18 100; 18 900; 28 200 people).

The average quarterly number of registered first-time jobseekers in Pest County increased over the past year (859; 857; 880; 1 064 people). First-time jobseekers accounted for 3.7 % of all registered jobseekers in the second quarter. This figure represents a decline of 1.0 percentage point compared to six months earlier.

The average quarterly number of jobseekers under 25 increased constantly (1 531; 1 557; 1 644; 2 707), similarly to the ratio of jobseekers under 25 to all jobseekers.

In the breakdown of jobseekers by level of education, the number of jobseekers with secondary and – in a more detailed breakdown – only primary education is the highest, although it is positive that the proportion of jobseekers with only primary education is decreasing most rapidly.


Text last edited on: 11/2020