Unemployment rises to 28 pct in November

Increase in hirings seen by Ergani not reflected in jobless figures By Christina Kopsini

Unemployment registered a new record in Greece in November as the jobless rate climbed to 28 percent from 27.7 percent in October and 26.3 percent in November 2012, according to data released on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

The figures showed that the number of unemployed grew by almost 1 million (991,000) in the five years from 2008 to November 2013, as the jobless numbered 1,382,062 at the end of November. The number of employed people declined by 1 percent from October and by 3.1 percent from a year earlier.

The unemployment data do not reflect the increase in the number of the people with work seen by the Labor Ministry’s Ergani database. If anything, they show that joblessness is continuing to grow, albeit at a slower rate.

The financially inactive population expanded by 36,448 people within 12 months to 3,376,643, which is likely due to the increase in pensioners who have rushed to retire after losing their jobs.

Women and the young remain the two groups with the biggest jobless problems, as the unemployment rate among the former stood at 32.2 percent while three in every five (61.4 percent) young people aged between 15 and 24 years were without work. Both readings were higher than a year earlier. The worst-hit regions are Eastern and Central Macedonia and Thrace with unemployment rates of 29.7 percent, Attica with 28.9 percent, and Epirus and Western Macedonia with 28.8 percent.

Out of the 1.38 million unemployed, those receiving benefits from the Manpower Organization (OAED) in December stood at just 170,015, although over 420,000 jobless have been registered at OAED for 12 months or more and a third of those are seasonal workers in the tourism sector.

Still, the number of jobless receiving benefits has risen 30 percent since November.