ANALYSIIS

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

There was a time when Greece’s un­em­ploy­ment rate caught the me­dia’s at­ten­tion as it quadru­pled from 7.3% in the third quar­ter of 2008 to the re­cent record high of 27.8% in the first quar­ter of 2014. There is less of a fuss these days, though.

As we have be­come ac­cus­tomed to this record level of un­em­ploy­ment, there is also a ten­dency to over­look some of the data that lies be­hind the head­line rate. One of the most sig­nif­i­cant num­bers can be found when look­ing at the rate of long-term un­em­ployed, which is those who have been out of work for more than 12 months.

Long-term un­em­ploy­ment is noth­ing new in Greece, which has had a long stand­ing prob­lem with this is­sue. The rate of Greeks with­out a job for more than a year ranged be­tween 48 and 55% since Greece joined the euro in 2001. This af­fected ap­prox­i­mately 250,000 people in the labour force. Long-term un­em­ploy­ment de­cel­er­ated from 2007 on­wards, with the to­tal fig­ure fall­ing be­low 180,000 in the last quar­ter of 2008. As a per­cent­age it dipped un­der 40% in the first quar­ter of 2009.

Dur­ing the cri­sis, how­ever, long-term un­em­ploy­ment has

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