Fact Check: Hungarian Unemployment Did NOT Hit An All-Time High Of 12% Under The Socialists


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Hungarian Unemployment Did NOT Hit An All-Time High Of 12% Under The Socialists Not A Record

Did Hungarian unemployment hit an all-time high of 12 percent in 2010, when the Hungarian Socialist Party was in power? No, that's not true: Since 1989, when communism collapsed along with its constitutional guarantee of universal employment, Hungary recorded its highest jobless rate in 1993, when the Socialists were in opposition. Moreover, unemployment was less than 12 percent in 2010.

The claim appeared in a Hungarian-language video (archived here) on TikTok on September 7, 2023, under the caption "Fidesz," the name of Hungary's current governing party. The speaker, Dániel Bohár, is a partner of the Megafon Center, which produces social-media content in support of Fidesz. The clip shows Bohár criticizing left-wing politicians who supported the 2022 street protests against government economic policy, saying:

They preach, when unemployment was at a record level during their time [in power], because a half-million Hungarians did not have a job. (Translation by Lead Stories.)

The video shows a graphic claiming that Hungary's jobless rate was 12 percent in 2010.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Sep 13 08:32:40 2023 UTC)

Hungarian annual unemployment in fact reached 11.3 percent in 2010, according to the Central Statistical Office (KSH), partly because Hungary's economy had been hammered by the global financial crisis that broke out two years earlier.

This was not a record: In the years since 1989, average annual joblessness reached its highest level of 12.1 percent in 1993, according to statistics from KSH. The Socialists were in opposition at the time.

The Socialists only governed Hungary until May 29, 2010, when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took power. During its first two years, the Orbán administration barely dented unemployment, which remained at an average of 11.1 percent throughout 2011 and 2012, KSH statistics show. The jobless rate began to decline in 2013, thanks in part to the "workfare" program Orbán introduced in 2011.


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