05 Feb Orbán cabinet supported 1.5 million jobs last year, says official
Around 1.5 million employees and 280,000 employers received government support last year, Sándor Bodó, state secretary of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM), said in an interview to Demokrata magazine. In the interview published on Wednesday, the state secretary said the support was the main reason why the number of jobseekers stayed below 300,000 last year — among the lowest jobless rates in Europe — in the face of the Covid epidemic.
Bodó insisted that Hungary had also been among the most successful countries in managing the crisis alongside Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Malta. After an initial plunge in employment at the end of the spring, there has been a steady rebound since the end of the summer, he said, and by December the number of employees again stood at 4.5 million. Bodó said public investments, mainly in construction, worth 3,000 billion forints (EUR 8.4bn) planned for this year were being made in a highly responsive sector that could create jobs instantly.
When it comes to R and D investments, multiple returns would be seen in the near future, he said, referring to a wage subsidy for development engineers, researchers and IT specialists relaunched in January. Restarting the economy required high value-added and creative professionals, he added. Bodó said that whereas past left-wing governments had hiked taxes and squeezed spending in times of crisis, the ruling Fidesz government put an emphasis on preserving jobs and focusing on economic recovery.