BUSINESS

Flexible jobs are gaining ground, new data shows

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Economy, Society

Flexible forms of employment are gaining ground in Greece, especially among low-paid young people, according to Labor Ministry statistics.

In July, hirings came to 201,793, exceeding dismissals and resignations by 19,281, the ministry’s Ergani information system indicated.

However, the data showed that 54.16 percent of hirings were in part-time and shift work.

Also, the balance between hiring and firing was positive among people aged 29 and below, whereas in older age groups dismissals exceeded hirings.

In this light, the fact that it was the sixth straight month in which there was net growth in hirings – with July showing the greatest seventh-month gain since 2001 – should not be cause for complacency with regard to conditions in the labor market.

In the middle of the tourism season, most hirings were related to tourism and adjacent sectors, such as restaurants (with net growth of 19,448 places), followed by accommodation (9,878 net growth), food production (6,912 net growth), retail trade (4,693 net growth) and wholesale trade (619 net growth).

Most dismissals took place in the education sector because of the end of the school year, with a net loss of 20,753.

The picture over the seven-month period from January to July is similar.

The balance between hirings and dismissals was positive, with net 253,945 new hirings, up 67,480 from the same period last year.

However, 51.2 percent of the 1.2 million hirings were for flexible types of work.

This trend will continue, as the rise of non-wage costs – especially social security fees – discourages companies from hiring workers on full-time contracts.

Also, it appears that older workers are being fired and replaced by younger, cheaper employees.

Of the 201,793 hirings in July, 38.87 percent (78,432 people) were for part-time work and 15.29 percent (30,859 people) were for shift work. In the January-July period, of the 1,265,383 hirings, 657,698 (51.2 percent) involved part-time and shift work, which lead to wages below 400 euros and lower revenues for state coffers.

Ergani data showed that in all of Greece’s regions, with the exception of Attica, there was net growth in hirings. In the capital’s region, 15,157 positions were lost, whereas the greatest net growth was recorded in the Southern Aegean, with 8,605 positions gained.

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