Job­less rate con­tin­ues to climb, hits 16.2 pct

Kathimerini English - - Business & Finance -

Greek un­em­ploy­ment jumped to a fresh record high of 16.2 per­cent in March, from 15.9 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous month, ac­cord­ing to data pub­lished by the Hel­lenic Sta­tis­ti­cal Au­thor­ity (EL­STAT) yes­ter­day.

With the econ­omy in its third year of re­ces­sion, the coun­try’s job­less num­bered 811,340 in March, up from 578,723 in the same pe­riod a year ear­lier, EL­STAT data showed. It was the high­est read­ing since Greece started com­pil­ing monthly data in 2004.

A break­down of the fig­ures showed that the un­em­ploy­ment rate was as high as 42.5 per­cent for the 15-24 age group and 22.6 per­cent for those aged 25 to 34. The num­ber of em­ployed peo­ple shrank 5.4 per­cent year-on-year or by 238,574 to 4,185,325.

By re­gion, un­em­ploy­ment was high­est in the south­ern Aegean is- lands, where the job­less rate reached 30.4 per­cent in March, com­pounded by a lack of off-sea­son tourism jobs.

In the Attica re­gion, un­em­ploy­ment was 15.8 per­cent in March, slightly higher than the rate of 14.8 per­cent in Fe­bru­ary, but up sharply from a 10.5 per­cent rate recorded in March 2010.

Econ­o­mists ex­pect the job­less rate to start sta­bi­liz­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter of the year.

The Euro­pean Union sees it av­er­ag­ing out at 14.6 per­cent this year and hit­ting 14.8 per­cent in 2012.

Sep­a­rately, in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion in April fell 11 per­cent from a year ear­lier, com­pared with an 8 per­cent de­cline the pre­vi­ous month, EL­STAT said yes­ter­day.

The big­gest de­creases were in elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion, which fell 12.2 per­cent, and man­u­fac­tur­ing, which de­clined 11.3 per­cent.

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