What lessons can be learned from the employment development in Fejér County, Hungary?


What are the strategies for employment expansion, including the integration of youth into the labour market in Fejér County? Were young people living here able to find work more quickly during the COVID-19 lockdowns, compared to those settled in other counties in Hungary?

At the final conference organised on 24 November 2021 by the Municipality and the Government Ofice of Fejér County and the Echo Nonprofit Network, the organisers evaluated the results of the labour market project TOP-5.1.1-15-FE1-2016-00001, implemented within the framework of the Széchenyi 2020 Programme.

In addition to the assessment of the project (which resulted in various regional employment and economic development agreements), the event also provided an opportunity for a broader perspective. Among others, changes in the employment policy support system for the 2021-2027 period were discussed, as well as the issues of embedding territorial employment pacts (as EU practices) in the domestic legal environment.

The final conference also aimed to provide information on the effectiveness of programmes targeting the young unemployed. In his presentation, Balázs Munkácsy, Junior Analyst at BI, firstly reported on the results of our research within the framework of the international project Youth Employment ParnerSHIP, namely the impact assessment of the 90-day job trial programme, offered under the Youth Guarantee Programme. He described the benefits of the programme, notably its proven positive impact compared to public employment, but highlighted that its targeting needs to be further refined, as fewer young people with worse job opportunities are among the participants.

In the second part of his presentation, he discussed the impact of the COVID-19 on the youth labour market. Looking at unemployment register data, the losers from COVID-19 appear to be young people entering registered unemployment during the winter of 2019-2020, as their exit rates were hit hardest by the first wave.

Finally, he also reported on how the pandemic affected specifically the labour market prospects of young people in Fejér County. The data show that 55.4% more people registered as unemployed in March-April 2020 compared to 2019. The lockdowns affected people in Fejér County similarly to those in the rest of the country, but those who entered before and during the lockdowns left the register earlier than the national average.