Jobless rate continues to climb, hits 16.2 pct
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.