In the autumn of 2008 the world economic crisis erupting in the United States of America dealt the economy and labour market of Hungary a hard blow. The economic crisis strengthened the adverse labour-market situation in the country’s more backward eastern areas, above all in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County. With the aim of reduction of the increasing unemployment the Hungarian Employment Policy applies a number of labour-market tools. Public employment is one of the most important labour market tools. In my research I examined the role of public employment in the reduction of unemployment. In my thesis I looked for the answer to the question if public employment is able to handle unemployment efficiently and to reduce long-term unemployment. In my thesis I examined two of the most important public work programmes – between the period of 2009 and 2011 – which employed the highest number of workers in comparison with earlier programmes. I prepared the comparative analysis of the two programmes based on my own aspect system highlighting the strong and the weak points of these programmes. My research is based on scientific literature, various studies in this field, scientific and international professional journals and Internet sources.