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Metropol - Hungary | Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Migration cuts unemployment in Eastern Europe

Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians have emigrated to the West in recent years in search of work. In the case of Romania and Poland, the figures rise into the millions. For the free paper Metropol this exodus is one explanation for why the jobless rate is comparatively low in these countries: "If we can believe the figures, in the past years 200,000 to 300,000 people left Hungary. The same trend could be observed in Romania and Poland, in fact in all of Eastern Europe. ... In Romania, for example, the population has sunk from around 23 million at the time of the transition to roughly 19 million now. ... Some ask how it's possible for unemployment in Romania to be at seven percent and here in Hungary at 10.5 percent, when it's at 25 percent in Spain. ... If the roughly 300,000 Hungarian labour migrants had stayed at home, most of them would now be unemployed. In that case unemployment would now stand at 15 to 16 percent. And that, in turn, would reflect the state of the Hungarian economy more accurately."

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