Almost six in ten young people in Greece are now unemployed

City A.M. Reporter
GREECE’S unemployment rate scaled a new record of 27.2 per cent in January, data showed yesterday, reflecting the depth of the country’s recession as it battles its debt crisis – while youth joblessness is up to nearly six in ten people.

The jobless rate has almost tripled since the country’s troubles heightened in 2009, and was more than twice the Eurozone’s average unemployment reading of 12 per cent. The latest figure rose from a revised 25.7 per cent in December, the country’s statistics service, named ELSTAT, said.

“The first quarter will remain tough amid the deep recession, despite an improvement in the previous two months due to seasonal hirings,” said Nikos Magginas, an economist at commercial Greek lender National Bank.

Youth unemployment – among those aged between 15 and 24 – stood at 59.3 per cent in January, up from 51 per cent in the same month in 2012.

Greece’s economy is in its sixth year of recession, while it is also attempting tax hikes and spending cuts demanded by its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders. The economy is expected to shrink 4.5 per cent this year.

• The unemployment rate dropped to eight per cent across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) group of developed nations in February, according to figures published yesterday. The OECD said the portion of the workforce without a job fell 0.1 percentage point in the month, as some Eurozone nations such as Spain and France worsened while the rest of the group improved.