The Opportunities and Challenges of Producing Official Labour Migration Statistics in Hungary

Zoltan Csanyi, Hungarian Central Statistical Office
Janos Novak , Hungarian Central Statistical Office

Economic motivations of human mobility are well-known. Most migration theories are built around distinct forms of foreigners’ labour market participation and its effects on the economies of receiving and sending countries. Economic growth of recent years in Hungary has been accompanied by labour market imbalances, which can be understood only having in mind the mixed migration profile of this country. On the one hand a significant share of the working-age native population choses to enter in foreign labour markets, while on the other, a growing number of foreign workers alleviate labour force shortages. Nevertheless, the lack of detailed official data on labour migration raises difficulties to properly interpret this phenomenon. In this presentation, with the aim of making the first steps towards improved labour migration statistics in Hungary, we review potentially relevant information from the administrative data sets of 1) the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing; 2) the National Employment Service and 3) the National Tax and Customs Administration. First, the main trends and patterns of foreign workers’ labour market participation will be identified and compared across the data sets. Second, an attempt will be made to explain incongruences through comparing data sources from a quality point of view. Finally, we make a proposal on how to expand the official population data production system of Hungary in order to cover foreigners’ labour market participation.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy