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Greek Jobless Rate At 26%

unemployment-line-749345 Greece’s unemployment rate climbed to 26 percent in the last quarter of 2012 from 24.8 percent in the previous three-month period, showing the depth of a continuing recession and how difficult the government’s job will be to bring back jobs.
Austerity measures demanded by international lenders under a bailout keeping Greece afloat have deepened the economy’s downturn with more adversity expected this year as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to shrink 4.5 percent.
The statistics service (ELSTAT) said 1.295 million Greeks were without work in the last quarter of 2012, while the jobless rate among those aged 15-24 climbed to 57.8 percent from 49.9 percent in the previous quarter.
More than 800,000 jobs have been lost since the third quarter of 2008 and economists say a big chunk of unemployment is becoming structural because of the protracted economic slump which entered its sixth straight year in 2013.
“What is particularly worrisome is long-term unemployment,” Angelos Tsakanikas, an economist at think tank IOBE, which projects joblessness will hit 27.3 percent this year, told Reuters. “More than 60 percent of the unemployed in Greece are without work for more than 12 months compared to about 48 percent in the euro zone. Long-term unemployment affects skills,” he said.
Greece’s jobless rate is more than double the average rate in the 17-nation Eurozone, which stood at 11.8 percent in December. The latest quarterly figure is virtually the same as in Spain, where unemployment hit 26.02 percent in the three months to December. However, the most recent monthly unemployment figures for Greece – 26.6 percent in November and 26.4 percent in December – were the highest in the currency bloc.
Sectors that were hard hit in the last three months of 2012 included retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing and construction. Equally worrying is that unemployment for those under 25 is still hovering at about 67 percent, which means two of three young people are without work and few prospects of finding a job.

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