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Hungary’s three-month rolling average jobless rate reached 3.3% in April-June, edging down from 3.4% in the previous three-month period and down from 3.6% twelve months earlier, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said. The rate covers unemployment among those between the ages of 15 and 74. In absolute terms, 155,500 Hungarians were unemployed, 4,900 fewer than in the previous period and down 9,700 from a year earlier.

The unemployment rate in the 15-24 age group stood at 10.8%, up 1.3 percentage points compared to the base period. The unemployed in this age group account for more than one-fifth of all jobless, KSH noted. Out-of-work Hungarians spent about 14.4 months on average looking for employment during the period, and 35.6 of the unemployed had been seeking work for one year or longer. The number of jobholders stood at 4,510,900 among 15- to 74-year-olds, 36,000 or 0.8% more than in the same period a year earlier. The employment rate was 60.8%, up 0.6 percentage point. The number of employed included 108,700 Hungarians in fostered work programmes and 117,200 working abroad. The number of those employed on the domestic primary labour market rose by 2.0% from a year earlier to 4,285,000, while the number of fostered workers dropped by 34.9%.

Analyst Péter Virovácz of ING Bank said the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed is again at a new low, mainly on the back of improving employment amongst women. In the second half of the year the unemployment rate could be around 3.4% and he does not expect it to fall significantly lower. Analyst András Horváth of Takarékbank said around 250,000-300,000 jobs could still be filled until the economy reaches full employment, but the remaining labour pool consist of unskilled workers or those who are difficult to employ and some form of policy intervention would be needed to get them to work.