The unemployed toll has risen by 170 000 since the beginning of the crisis, while there are more and more people who wish to work and who enter the job market. Part time jobs are really popular as the Hungarian Central Statistical Office’s recent report highlights. Almost all of the new jobs created in the previous years were part time ones.
The most striking is the decreasing size of the active population. The group of 15-74 year-olds shrank by 49 000 between 2008 and 2012. The decline is even more significant in the 15-64 year-old cohort as their number decreased by 62 000. It is an important fact that these numbers consist of the actives and non-actives, not just the employed citizens.
On the one hand there are many people seeking a job, but the opportunities on the labour market are limited. The apparent rise in the size of the active population is a result of some previous actions, such as the increased retirement age and control of invalid status. (The latter used to be a popular way of disguising the unemployment status of middle aged people in Hungary even if their medical conditions did not fulfill all the requirements of the decrepit status.)
There are many who are falling out of the social system as they are losing the entitlement to social benefits. This group is also added to the active population – at least in the statistics. That is why the employment rate is on the mend, while the unemployment rate is stacked on a high level (11,7% in the first quarter of 2012). There are 172 000 more unemployed than in 2008.
The active population was the largest in 2006-2007, during the Gyurcsány administration, during the last ten years. The number of employed was 3.95 million and the employment rate was 1.5% higher than nowadays. There are 150 000 more jobs needed to reach that level again.
To sum up, we are getting further away from the 1 million new jobs. (Viktor Orbán promised to establish 1 million new jobs in 10 years’ time in 2010.)