Greek unemployment tops 27 percent to hit new record in January

ATHENS Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:04am BST

People queue up inside the Greek Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) in central Athens April 11, 2013. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

People queue up inside the Greek Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) in central Athens April 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yorgos Karahalis

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's unemployment rate scaled a new record of 27.2 percent in January, data showed on Thursday, reflecting the depth of the country's recession after years of austerity imposed under its international bailout.

The jobless rate has almost tripled since the country's debt crisis emerged in 2009, and was more than twice the euro zone's average unemployment reading of 12 percent. The latest figure rose from a revised 25.7 percent in December, the country's statistics service 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 percent in January, up from 51 percent in the same month in 2012.

Greece's economy is in its sixth year of recession, battered by tax hikes and spending cuts demanded by its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders. The economy is expected to shrink 4.5 percent this year.

The high jobless rate is keeping Greeks pessimistic about their economic prospects.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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Comments (2)
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Surely in a Europe of ever closer union, (with its free movement of labour) the European Commision (EC) should be encouraging European citizens living in areas of current economic depravation and blight,(i.e Greece, Portugal) to be moving into more prosperous areas of the EZ where low unemployment rates are recorded? (economic areas such as Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Monaco for example)

Apr 11, 2013 12:34pm BST  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Has the European Commission of the Eurozone got any real excuse, why it is not recommending to its memberships citizens, in taking affirmative action, and getting on their bikes, in finding opportunity and employment in less economically deprived areas of the ‘euro’ zone?

Or is one ‘Provinces’ Europeans less welcome in another ‘Provinces’ economic district?

Perhaps Federalism only works for Brussels when it suits, and doesnt upset Merkel?

Apr 11, 2013 1:57pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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