Unemployment in Greece spikes to three times pre-crisis level

THE NUMBER of jobless people looking for work in Greece hit a new record level in April, rising to 26.9 per cent of the labour force, up 0.1 percentage points since March.

Unemployment rose from 23.1 per cent in the previous April, when 1.14m people were out of work. That number has now crept up to 1.34m, a rise of nearly 200,000 people. The rate of joblessness is now more than three times as high as Greece’s first year of recession in 2008.

In other European countries, the rate of unemployment rose during the crisis but stabilised afterwards, whereas in Greece it shows no sign of halting.

Western Macedonia is the most severely affected region, with over 30 per cent of people without jobs and looking for employment.

The official rate of youth unemployment stands at 57.5 per cent, having risen from 22.3 per cent over the past five years.

Greece is still in a protracted depression, and 2013 is likely to be its sixth consecutive year of negative economic growth.

The Troika, a group of lenders which is made up of the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and the European Central Bank recently came to an agreement to provide the next tranche of Greece’s bailout in exchange for further reforms.