Unemployment reined in during the tourism season

Jobs increased by 3,700 in third quarter from April-June period By Christina Kopsini

It seems that the unemployment rate in Greece is finally being reined in, as the third quarter of the year – most of the tourism season – saw the share of people without jobs in the country decline by 0.4 percent compared to the second quarter, according to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data that are not seasonally adjusted.

The work force survey figures, which were released on Thursday, show that employment decreased at a slower rate and the annual increase in the jobless rate eased. In Q3 the number of jobs declined by 103,100 or 2.8 percent from Q2 of 2012, and the unemployment rate grew 9.3 percent. Compared with the second quarter of this year, the number of jobs increased 3,700 in the July-September period.

The ELSTAT report puts the number of jobs at the end of September at 3,635,905, which was 0.1 percent higher than at end-June. The unemployed numbered 1,345,387, for a 27 percent general rate. The data also reveal a significant increase in the percentage of long-term unemployed – those without a job for at least 12 months. They constitute 71 percent of all the registered jobless.

Notably, the sector of “public administration and defense” showed a yearly increase of 6,000 jobs. This number could be explained either by the fact that certain departments did not officially report movement of staff in the mobility scheme or because staff hired on fixed-term contracts were taken into account. On the other hand, jobs in education decreased by over 10,000 within a year, falling from 287,600 in 2012 to 276,500 this year.

A remarkable trend that emerges from the third-quarter figures is the increase in employment in the primary sector, while the decline in construction jobs continued unabated.

Youth unemployment (including those aged up to 24 years) climbed from 56.6 percent in the third quarter of 2012 to 57.2 percent this year, while the biggest increase was recorded in the 25-29 age group, where the jobless climbed from 38 percent last year to 43.8 percent this summer, according to ELSTAT’s figures.