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Unemployment Rises in Greece, Particularly Amongst Young People

unemployment greece
Unemployment in Greece rose again this year, to 46.8 percent in youth. Credit: Greek Reporter.

Unemployment increased in Greece over the past year reaching 46.8 percent in young people under 25, according to a report released recently by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Overall, unemployment in the country is at 17 percent, as recorded in April of this year. This figure is slightly higher than the unemployment rate recorded in 2020 in the same month, which was 15.9 percent.

Unemployment rises in Greece

unemployment greece
A table comparing the overall unemployment rates in Greece over 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Credit: Hellenic Statistical Authority.

Unemployment rates seem to have remained fairly stable over 2020, before rising at the beginning of 2021. The Hellenic Statistical Authority publishes “Greece in Figures,” on the first Wednesday of every financial quarter, or in other words every January, April, July, and October.

Thus, the public’s next look into whether unemployment continued to rise in 2021 will be available in October.

Employment demographics

Unfortunately, the unemployment rate rose even more drastically for women than for men. According to the most recent information, the unemployment rate amongst women of working age is 21.4 percent, which represents a rise of 2.7 percent from last year’s figure.

In men, the unemployment rate stayed virtually the same, dropping only 0.1 percent from 13.7 to 13.6 in 2021.

However, perhaps the most drastic and worrying rise came in the case of youth unemployment. Those in the 15-24 age group in Greece who were willing to work but could not find employment used to take up only 33.6 percent in April 2020, but this number has now risen to a staggering 46.8 percent youth unemployment.

This represents a rise of 13.2 percent, showing that young people seem to have borne the brunt of most of the economic problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

That is not to say that unemployment did not also rise in the 25-74 age group. In fact, unemployment rose by 0.7 percent, from 14.9 percent in April 2020 to 15.6 percent in 2021.

The jobless measure at 762,553 people, recording an increase of 31,202 people compared to April 2020 (4.3 percent) and 21,990 people compared to March 2021 (3 percent).

Also, according to the figures by ELSTAT, employed people in the country number at 3,714,575 people, which is a decrease of 4 percent (or 154,202 people) from April last year.

However, the report was not all bad news, as the number of employed people increased from March 2021 to April by 38,683.

Those who were considered “out of the workforce” or not economically active also increased from last year. This group is made up of those who are unemployed but are not looking for work, and this demographic increased by 2.8 percent since April 2020.

This means that in April 2021, 3,391,650 people were not employed and not looking for work. This is an increase of 92, 205 individuals since April 2020, but a decrease of 63,733 people compared to March 2021 (1.8%).

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