Deflated Greek economy posts highest jobless rate on record

GREEK unemployment reached an historical high as the third quarter came to an end, climbing to an eye-watering 27.4 per cent.

The rate rose 0.1 per cent in September, up from 27.3 per cent in July and August. The number of people out of work and looking for jobs is now 5.9 per cent higher than it was at the same time last year. The total number of unemployed people in the damaged Mediterranean economy is 3.6m. Despite the increase, Greece’s statisticians said that they had observed “a reliable stability” in the unemployment rate over the last four months, signalling that the previously continual increases in joblessness may be slowing.

The number of people unable to find jobs under the age of 25 is also down on the same month last year: in September the rate was 51.9 per cent, lower than the 56.7 per cent 12 months earlier.

Earlier this week, Greece recorded record deflation, as consumer prices dropped 2.9 per cent during the year to November.

Despite this, the government budget passed last week projects that the economy will grow by 0.6 per cent during 2014, one of the qualifications that the country must meet before it returns to international bond markets.