- Provision of labour market information
Labour Utilisation Survey
In the survey, public and private employers are asked about their plans regarding recruiting and layoffs. The survey covers all economic sections (at NACE level 1) and includes firms and organizations of all sizes. The distribution of the sample by size and section, however, differs from the distribution in the economy.
In the first quarter of 2020, 12,528 employers responded the survey; however, the survey results are not representative of the Hungarian enterprises. The economic organisations involved in the survey employed 693,453 workers. At national level, the database represents 0.7% of registered business organisations – but 1.8% of actually operating business organisations – and 15.5% of employed persons.
Every quarter, local branch offices of the Ministry for National Economy ask companies in their respective regions about foreseen recruitment and layoffs by occupation, as well as the form of employment, should there be new hires.
The main aim and function of the survey is to create a new link of communication between a large pool of employers and the National Employment Agency to obtain information on both the planned staff expansions and reductions. Another explicit goal is to provide information for young people who are considering their career choices, employees in general, employers and investors, to help all these stakeholders make sound decisions about work.
The survey examines the employee headcount of the businesses and the expected changes during the following quarter and the following year. The survey, despite having a sample size of more than 12,000 companies, is not representative regarding several dimensions, and its questionnaire is self-administered.
The survey is conducted by the National Employment Service and it is funded by the Ministry of Finance.
- National funds
The survey is funded by the Ministry of Finance.
The district government offices participate in the data collection.
Public employment services
It is conducted by the National Employment Service.
In the first quarter of 2020, 12,528 employers responded to the survey; but even so, the survey results are not representative of Hungarian enterprises. The economic organisations involved in the survey employed 693,453 workers. At national level, the database represents 0.7% of registered business organisations – but 1.8% of actually operating business organisations – and 15.5% of employed persons.
The response rate was 76% during the latest survey period.
With more than 12,000 respondents, this survey has an outstandingly large sample size compared with other various surveys conducted on behalf of the National Employment Services (although the ratio of the number of respondent firms to the number of all operating firms was only around 1.8% in early 2020). Another strength of the survey is its frequency and its simplicity. The higher frequency (compared to the yearly short-term labour market forecast, a complementary instrument) helps the local agencies to adjust their focus in vocational programmes and counselling relatively promptly. Its simplicity contributes to improving the response rate and decreasing response errors.
The National Employment Service itself points out that the survey sample is not representative in terms of the regional, sectoral, or size composition of firms. Furthermore, the survey is self-administered, which increases the risk of inaccurate answers, even if the survey is not long, not complicated and does not require much specific knowledge. The data on businesses' expectations may not provide an accurate picture of the magnitude of future staff expansion and reduction. The survey may reflect the momentary confidence and wishes of the respondents rather than the realistically expected near-future developments. Also, the firms may manifest their intentions about expanding their staff without considering their actual financial ability to hire new staff or the actual availability of new workforce in their vicinity.