BUSINESS

Labor market continues to suffer

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Economy

Greece still has the highest unemployment rate among OECD member-countries, as well as low salaries and therefore a large share of employees who face the risk of poverty even though they work hard, according to the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV).

Despite the significant and unprecedented reforms in the labor market, it continues to paint a disappointing picture based on employment indices and the quality of working conditions, SEV says in its weekly bulletin. Without the reforms that have been carried out and especially without part-time employment and the reduction of the minimum salary, the jobless rate would have been even higher today, while the recession would have continued unabated.

The data presented by SEV show that besides the high unemployment and the estimated loss of incomes due to the long-lasting recession, all other structural indices show just a marginal change from the past.

In the second quarter of 2017 Greece had the highest jobless rate (21.6 percent) among member-states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Crucially, while two out of every three people aged between 15 and 64 are employed in OECD countries on average, in Greece just one in two has a job (50.8 percent in 2015 and 53 percent in 2017).

Workers in Greece receive an average of $10.2 per hour, while the OECD equivalent is $16.5/hour. When workers lose their job in Greece they lose 32 percent of their income, against an average of just 6.5 percent in the OECD.

One in six workers in Greece (16.1 percent) receives less than 50 percent of the average disposable income of households, compared to 10.6 percent among OECD states, with 60 percent of the average disposable income being the income level below which workers face the risk of poverty.

The difference between men’s and women’s salary is huge in Greece: Women receive an average of 51.7 percent of what men are paid for the same work. Only South Korea, Japan and Mexico reported a greater difference.

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