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Hungary-Women in the Work Force and Foreign Workers

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Hungary Index

Women joined the work force in great numbers after World War II and contributed significantly to the government's industrialization drive in the 1950s and 1960s. Families supported the entry of women into the work force because they could not survive on a single income or they desired a higher living standard. In 1949 about 29.2 percent of active earners were women; by 1987 they accounted for 46 percent. Likewise, whereas 34.5 percent of working-age women were active earners in 1949, about 75 percent were active earners by 1987. About 59 percent of Hungary's working women were manual workers; the remainder worked in white-collar jobs. (About 70 percent of men were manual workers, and 30 percent had white-collar jobs.) Women dominated low-paying jobs in the textile industry, the service sector, canneries, and commerce; in the white-collar area, women dominated in education, health, and low-profile office jobs.

Hungarian enterprises employed about 10,000 foreign workers in 1986, including about 3,000 Polish miners, 1,300 Cubans in various jobs, and some Vietnamese textile workers. After 1983 Hungarian workers with firm job offers were free to accept employment in Western countries for up to five years, but in 1986 only a small number of Hungarians were employed abroad.

Data as of September 1989

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