- 1 Mar 2010 3:00 AM
The rise in the jobless rate comes as little surprise, as analysts expect the U-rate to peak only around the middle of the year.
The jobless rate in Hungary was last this high in the wake of the fiscal adjustment in 1995. It ticked up to a 14-year high of 10.5% in the previous 3-m period from 10.4% in Aug-Oct and the U-rate became a double-digit figure (10.3%) in the third quarter.
The number of unemployed was 455,600 in Nov-Jan, some 105,000 more than in the same period of 2008 and about 130,000-150,000 more than at the onset of the economic crisis.
The good news is that those losing their job do not leave the market altogether, i.e. they do not flee into inactivity as before. In previous years, people who were let go tended to never even look at job ads again, but the fact that this happens no more hints that building up capacities may be an easier thing to do when economic upturn dawns.
There is now a strong correlation between the number of employed and unemployed. Whenever the former group dwindles, the latter expands, and this has not been like this in the past few years.
It is also good news that the unfazed decline in the number of employed has stopped at the end of 2009.
However, there were still 3.75 m people employed in Nov-Jan, about 88,000 less than in the same period of 2008/2009."