July 6, 2017 / 9:13 AM / 4 months ago

Greek unemployment drops to 21.7 pct in April

ATHENS, July 6 (Reuters) - Greece’s jobless rate dropped to 21.7 percent in April from 22.0 percent in the previous month, statistics agency ELSTAT said on Thursday, but remained the euro zone’s highest.

Unemployment in March was revised lower from 22.5 percent.

The seasonally adjusted data showed that the number of officially unemployed reached 1.04 million people. Hardest hit were young people aged 15 to 24 years, with their jobless rate dropping to 45.5 percent from 49.9 percent in April last year.

Greece’s jobless rate hit a record high of 27.9 percent in September 2013. It has come down from record highs but remains more than double the euro zone’s average.

Unemployment in the 19 countries sharing the euro stood at 9.3 percent in April.

Greece’s economy expanded in the first three months of 2017. Economic output grew 0.4 percent compared to the final quarter of 2016.

The government expects the jobless rate to drop to 22.8 percent this year from 23.5 percent in 2016. It sees its economy expanding by 1.8 percent. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou)

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