Hungary’s jobless rate was at 3.7% in December, falling from 4.1% in the same month a year earlier and level with the rate in November, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said.
The rate covers unemployment among people between the ages of 15 and 74. In absolute terms, there were 179,000 unemployed, 200 fewer than in November and 20,700 fewer than in the same month a year earlier. The rolling three-month average jobless rate also stood at 3.7% in December, as did the rolling three-month average jobless rate for the 15-64 age group. KSH noted that data from the National Employment Service (NFSZ) show there were 239,000 registered jobseekers at the end of December, down by an annual 17.9%.
The employment rate for the 15-74 age group reached 63.9% in December, edging up from 63.7% in November. In absolute terms, there were 4,686,900 jobholders, 9,400 more than in November and 53,000 more than twelve months earlier, KSH said. The number of economically active people in the age group stood at 4,865,800, giving Hungary an activity rate of 66.3%.
Takarékbank chief analyst András Horváth said the labour market has seen a “stable return” to pre-pandemic levels. The average annual jobless rate is expected to fall from 4.1% last year to 3.2% in 2022, on the back of government measures such as wage support, tax reductions and the conditional repayment moratorium on job preservation, he said. He added that the tighter labour market would accelerate the pace of pay rises, even as businesses continue to face global parts and capacity shortages, as well as higher energy prices.