Last update: 26 May 2022

The source of data is the Labour Force Survey, which collects demographic, education related and labour market data of the population living in private households. The survey involves nearly 38 thousand private households per quarter that were asked to provide data.

Monthly values – due to the oscillation of individual monthly samples – are defined by model-estimation, which is why their 3-month averages are not equal to the published averages that are directly calculated from survey data.

Definitions used in the Labour Force Survey

Employed persons are those who worked one hour or more for pay or profit during the reference week, or had a job from which they were temporarily absent (e.g. sick-leave, holiday, maternity leave etc.).

Since January 1, 2021, additionally to persons working while receiving child care benefit, persons that have worked before requisitioning child care benefit, who are recipients of benefits during their absence and at the end of the receiving period will go back to their previous places of work (and thus were previously considered inactive or unemployed) are also considered employed. In other words, persons permanently absent from work due to receiving child care benefit are considered employed. Due to this change in the methodology, the employment rates of women have significantly changed.

Unemployed persons are those who neither worked, nor had a job from which they were temporarily absent, who were actively seeking work in the four weeks before the reference week, were available for work at the time of the survey, i.e. could start work within two weeks following the reference week if a proper job was found, or who found a job to start later, i.e. within 90 days.

Economically active population is the total number of employed and unemployed persons.

Economically inactive persons are those who cannot be classified either as employed or unemployed. Among others, students, pensioners who do not work, housewives, seasonal workers out of the season, in case they do not seek a job and recipients of child care benefit belong to this group. Within this, passive unemployed are persons who would like to find a job, but as they deem their chances unfavourable, they do not seek one actively.

Unemployment rate is the ratio of unemployed persons to the economically active population.

Employment rate is the ratio of employed persons to the population.

Participation rate is the ratio of economically active persons (employed and unemployed) to the population.

Primary labour market: number of employed persons without those working abroad and belonging to a household living in Hungary or working in public employment.

Average duration of unemployment: the average duration – number of months – of time spent with active searching for job (without those, who did not look for a job because they have already found one, and will begin to work within 90 days).

Selected age groups in the Labour Force Survey:

Aged 15–74: Recommendation of the International Labour Office (ILO) for observing the labour market. (The coverage of the Hungarian Labour Force Survey.)

Aged 15–64: Recommendation of the European Union for observing the labour market (employment).

Aged 20–64: The coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Aged 15–24: Recommendation of the European Union for observing the situation of young people in the labour market.

Aged 25–54: Age group used for observing the situation of those considered as of “the best working age” in the labour market.

Aged 55–64: Recommendation of the European Union for observing the situation of the elderly in the labour market.

Sample of Labour Force Survey

The Labour Force Survey is based on a multi-stage stratified probability sample design. In case of larger, “self-representing” settlements the primary sampling units are dwellings. On the other hand, in case of smaller settlements, the first stage of sampling is the selection of settlements. Since 1998, the number of addresses selected for the sample in a quarter is about 38 thousand. The survey is continuous, the quarterly sample consists of three statistically independent monthly sub-samples. The basis of grossing up is the population number in the survey period estimated with the help of a mathematical model. The number of population (living in private households) in each population group is calculated by multiplying the sample values of the different strata with the proper weight and summing them up.

Rounding of the data was made electronically – without any correction – therefore the sum of the part figures does not always equal to the rounded value of the total.

The survey was done via paper-and-pencil interviewing till the first quarter 2012. Afterwards the continuous transition to the computer aided data collection began. Since November 2012, the survey has been done only by CAPI.

In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic the previously in person interviews have been largely replaced by telephone interviews, and the methodology prevalent from January 2021 made the introduction of a new EU harmonized model questionnaire necessary. Due to the change of the mode and tool (questionnaire) of interviewing, increase of non-sampling error is expected.

Major indicators on employment and unemployment with their sampling errors at a confidence
level of 95%, February – April 2022

Denomination Employed Unemployed Employment Unemployment
number, 1000 persons rate, %
Age groups
15–74 (weighted) data4684,3170,363,83,5
Sampling error (s.e.)±25.7±11.4±0.4±0.2
of which:Male (r)2484,895,069,53,7
Female (r)2199,575,358,43,3
15–64 (weighted) data4580,1167,674,13,5
Sampling error (s.e.)±23.5±11.2±0.4±0.2
of which:Male (r)2427,594,178,63,7
Female (r)2152,773,569,73,3
15–24 (weighted) data267,729,827,210,0
Sampling error (s.e.)±9.4±4.3±1.0±1.4
25–54 (weighted) data3579,3113,188,13,1
Sampling error (s.e.)±16.6±8.4±0.4±0.2
55–64 (weighted) data733,124,764,83,3
Sampling error (s.e.)±13.3±4.5±1.2±0.6
20–64 (weighted) data4555,7161,980,03,4
Sampling error (s.e.)±23.2±11.1±0.4±0.2
Employed people aged 15–74
Working in the domestic primary labour market (weighted data)4511,8
Sampling error (s.e.)±28.1
Consider themselves public worker (weighted data)79,7
Sampling error (s.e.)±7.9
Employed persons working abroad and belonging to a household living in Hungary (weighted data)92,8
Sampling error (s.e.)±7.0
Unemployed aged 15–74
Average duration of unemployment (weighted data)9.2 months
Sampling error (s.e.)±0.6 months