Hungary Takes Yeti-Sized Steps to Create Jobs

2013. június 6. 15:40
Veronika Gulyas
Wall Street Journal
Breeding rabbits, making honey wax candles and selling cobblestones shaped like Yeti-footprints are proving to be a formidable weapon in Hungary’s battle against unemployment.

"Across Hungary, unemployment is around half a million in a population of less than 10 million. To tackle the problem, the government is using a work-for-subsidy program that produces the Yeti cobblestones.

Those joining the plan are paid only $200 a month, well below Hungary’s average gross wage of $990, but the group is expected to grow to 300,000 this year from 262,000 in 2012.
 
Laszlo Szilagyi, mayor of the small Eastern Hungarian village of Tiszaigar, has been a particularly enthusiastic and imaginative advocate of the program, using it to drive unemployment close to zero among his village’s population of nearly a thousand people. (...)
 
The program is intended to provide temporary employment while the government struggles to return Hungary’s ailing economy to growth after it contracted 1.7% in 2012. Hungary’s unemployment rate stood at 10.9% last year, stagnating versus the previous year, Eurostat data show; this compares to 9.7% in the European Union in 2012 and 9.1% the year before."
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