Greece’s jobless rate rises to 26.8 pct in March

Greece's unemployment rate rose to 26.8 percent in March, compared to 26.7 the previous month and 22.2 percent in March 2012, official data showed Thursday.

Figures published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) showed that the unemployed increased by 215,735 persons (a 19.7 percent rate of increase) over March 2012 and by 4,626 persons over February 2013 (a 0.4 percent rate of increase).

Meanwhile, the number of employed decreased by 245,949 persons vis-a-vis March 2012 (a 6.4 percent rate of decrease) and by 6,697 persons versus February 2013 (a 0.2 rate of decrease).

ELSTAT said that the number of inactive persons – that is, persons that neither worked neither looked for a job – decreased by 23,661 persons (a 0.7 percent rate of increase) compared with March 2012 and by 9,074 persons compared with February 2013 (a 0.3 percent rate of increase).

The gloomy unemployment figures were published a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitted that it made mistakes in handling Greece's first international bailout.

In a report leaked to the press on Wednesday, the Washington-based organization said it was too optimistic in its growth assumptions and said a debt restructuring should have been considered earlier.

"It is very positive to learn from our mistakes," Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said of the IMF admission, according to reports Thursday.