Published on: 29 June 2020

97 thousand fewer people in employment than a year before

The economic consequences of the coronavirus epidemic have already affected the study period in its entirety, so its effects are reflected in the reported employment data. Over the period of March–May 2020, the average number of employed people1 was 4,403 thousand; the employment rate of people aged 15–64 was 68.6%. Both sexes saw a decrease, however, employment rate for men was higher than for women. In May 2020, the average monthly number of employed people was 4 million 399 thousand, which is 31 thousand more than in the previous month and 134 thousand fewer than a year earlier.

In March–May 2020, compared to a year before:2

The number of employees was 2.2% lower at 4 million 403 thousand. The number of people working in the primary labour market decreased by 48 thousand, and the number of those who declared themselves to be public workers decreased by 26 thousand.

The number of members of Hungarian households working abroad3 decreased by 23 thousand due to the loss of their work abroad, i.e. they did not lose their jobs due to domestic economic processes.

Number of employed people aged 15–74, March–May 2020

Denomination Number, thousand persons Change in headcounta)
thousand persons %
Work in the domestic primary labour market4,223.3–47.9–1.1
Public workersb)87.3–26.3–23.2
Employed persons working abroad and belonging to a household living in Hungary92.5–23.0–20.0
Total4,403.197.32.2

a)Compared to the same period of the previous year.
b)Based on the respondent's self-classification.

Of those aged 15-64, 4 million 316 thousand were classified as employed, with an overall employment rate of 68.6%. The number of the employed among men aged 15–64 declined by 48 thousand to 2,384 thousand, and their employment rate by 1.2 percentage points to 76.0%. Regarding 15–64 year-old women, the number of the employed decreased by 62 thousand to 1,933 thousand, and their employment rate by 1.3 percentage points to 61.3%.

The number of employed people in the young age group (15–24 years) was 263 thousand, with an employment rate of 26.3%. We saw the most significant change among the so-called best working age population (25–54 years): the number of employed decreased by 91 thousand to 3,354 thousand people, and the employment rate by 2.6 percentage points to 81.9%. In the older, 55–64 age group, the number of the employed was 699 thousand, but their employment rate grew by 2.3 percentage points to 58.5%, partly for demographical reasons.

The employment rate of people aged 20–64 – the coverage regarding the development of employment objectives defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 73.9%. The European Union has set a target value of 75% for 2020, currently the employment rate for this age group in Hungary is 81.9% for men and 66.0% for women.

Employment among 15–64 year-olds by age group, March–May 2020

Age group, year-old Number Employment rate
thousand persons change, thousand personsa) % change, percentage pointa)
15–24262.8–19.226.3–1.5
25–543,354.2–91.381.9–2.6
55–64699.30.658.52.3
Total4,316.3110.068.61.2
Of which: 20–644,294.8–101.673.9–1.1

a)Compared to the same period of the previous year.

In May4 2020

The average monthly number of employees was 4 million 399 thousand. Compared to the previous month, the number of people working in the domestic labour market increased by 34 thousand (by 21 thousand people working in the primary labour market and by 13 thousand people in public work programmes), while the number of people working abroad decreased by 3 thousand.

The employment rate of 15-64 year olds was 68.5%, up 0.4 percentage point from April.