19 Dec 2017

Are pensioners the answer to the labor shortage in Hungary?

In some countries, pensioners spend their years of well-deserved retirement travelling to exotic countries, relaxing in spas and trekking. Hungarian seniors, however, are lured back to the job market.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Are pensioners the answer to the labor shortage in Hungary? - NewsMavens
A pensioner. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

economy, healthshrinking population

The government is trying to deal with shortages on the labor market by filling the gap with pensioners. The elderly can now find jobs by joining one of the newly launched co-operatives. Since July, 76 such co-operatives have been created and 2,890 people have joined them -- much less than the government anticipated. They estimated that the number of members could reach 135,000 in a year.

Why is lifelong employment not attractive to Hungarian seniors?

Well, according to Gyorgyi Nemethne Jankovics, president of the Pensioners’ National Association (NYOSZ), many elderly people live an active life and do not have time to work. Those interested in going back to the labor market have already found a way to do so.

Another reason might be the types of jobs available and the wages. Cleaning, packaging, cooking, clerking -- most openings are in these fields. Looking at the database, it seems pretty much impossible to find a job that requires a university degree. The wage rates are between 700-1000 HUF per hour (app. 2-3.5 euros) before tax.

The relative lack of interest does not mean, however, that Hungarian pensioners are well off. Half of them survive on less than 100 000 HUF (app. 391 euros) a month, according to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office. Many would certainly appreciate the extra money.

There is, however, something that is often more valued by the elderly than money, the president of NYOSZ told Nepszava. It is time. Many pensioners prefer to spend their time doing something meaningful.

If you want to find out why it might be beneficial for businesses to hire pensioners, click on the article below.

Details from the story:

  • There are around 2 million pensioners in Hungary, i.e. 20% of the entire population.
  • 40% of the pensioners would be interested in going back to the labor market, claimed a study, which the government used as an indicator prior to launching the project of co-operatives.
  • Mostly women are interested in joining co-operatives. They make up 70% of the members.
  • The average member is aged 65-70.
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