Smaller firms wiped out by the crisis

Highlighting the impact of Greece’s recession on small and medium-sized enterprises, the latest labor market data showed that the country’s 252 biggest employers provided work to one-quarter of the private sector’s total work force.

Also, the data – compiled by IKA, the country’s largest social security fund for private sector employees – indicate that the dominance of the country’s major employers is increasing from year to year.

The IKA figures showed that the number of enterprises employing between one and five persons decreased from 206,615 in 2008 to 164,245 in 2013, a contraction that led to 66,531 job losses.

The data also showed that 42.29 percent of private sector firms provided a mere 5.25 percent of total employment in the private sector.

The labor market’s dire situation raises serious questions as to how the private sector can return to a path of recovery following the loss of some 940,000 jobs over the past six years of economic crisis.

The coalition government is believed to be considering various incentives for employers, including tax-related bonuses, in exchange for new job hirings.