Differences in activity and employment rate by gender have been rising slightly.
The activity rate of men aged 15–74 increased from 61.7 to 62.5 per cent between 2005 and 2007 and the activity rate of women increased from 47.8 to 48 per cent during the same period. The employment rate of men increased from 57.4 per cent to 58 per cent in 2006 and did not change in 2007, while the employment rate of women increased from 44.2 to 44.3 per cent between 2005 and 2007.
As the activity and employment rate of women is much lower in EU and OECD countries than that of men the lag behind EU and OECD averages is higher for Hungarian men than women. The activity rate of Hungarian men lags behind the EU15 average by 11 percentage points and that of Hungarian women by 9 percentage points. The fallback in the employment rate is 10 and 7 percentage points correspondingly.
Until 2004 the unemployment rate of women was smaller than that of men. Since the second quarter of 2003 the unemployment rate of women wasconstantly rising. In 2004 it reached that of men and from 2005 the unemployment rate of women exceeds the rate of men. The worsening of women’s employment possibilities is connected with employment cuts in the public sector. The number of employed declined year on year from 2004 and as women are represented to a larger extent in the public sector than men, women were more affected by lay offs in the public sector.