The 2008 world economic crisis significantly worsened the chances of finding a job and becoming financially independent for Hungarian youth writes Hungarian sociologist Tibor Gazso. According to his study “Hungarian Youth 2012” the number of 15-29 olds neither studying nor looking for work increased from 16 percent in 2008 to 19 per cent in 2012. The average time required for college graduates to find a job increased from 3.5 months to 5 months. Last year those with only eight years of education needed over a year to find work on average.
Of the 8000 youth surveyed across the country only 39 per cent worked. Of those working 26 per cent reported receiving all or part of their wages unofficially. Of those surveyed 43 per cent answered that they had been unemployed at some point in their life and that the average length of unemployment was nine and one half months.
68 per cent of college graduates reported finding jobs requiring a diploma, 23 per cent reported finding jobs that did not require a diploma, and 10 per cent only found jobs involving menial labor. Over two-thirds of those completing technical high school worked as skilled laborers. One quarter of them worked as semi- or unskilled workers.
The study challenges government claims (justifying the defunding of technical education) that a significant number of Hungarian youth are over-qualified. The study concludes that, to the extent public and higher education is out of sync with the needs of the labor market, greater emphasis needs to be placed on technical education, not less.