BUSINESS

Salaries continue to decline in Greece

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Economy

Salaries have declined considerably and the number of workers on low wages has expanded, explaining the increase in jobs recorded by the Labor Ministry’s hirings database Ergani this year.

A direct comparison of the first three weeks of October 2017 with the same period last year changes the rosy image of the local labor market that the government is attempting to present.

The figures for this year show that more than six in 10 (64.27 percent) of the total 1,824,437 workers employed at 247,236 enterprises were on salaries of up to 1,000 euros per month gross. Fewer than two-thirds of them, accounting for 759,326 in absolute figures or 41.62 percent of all workers, were employed full-time, while the rest (22.65 percent) appeared to have part-time jobs that earned less than 500 euros a month.

Data also show the number of self-employed increased by 121,913 from October 2016, but this was not accompanied by an increase in salaries. The average salary in October 2017 dropped to 1,024.90 euros from 1,060.30 a year earlier.

Across the labor market, full-time workers accounted for 68.44 percent of the total, virtually unchanged from the 68.28 percent rate in October 2016. However, the number of enterprises rose by 14,085, or 6.04 percent, from 233,151 in October last year. Over the 12-month period, flexible employment (part-time and shift work) grew by 30,556 jobs or 7.98 percent.

A growing trend has been recorded toward jobs paying between 500 and 600 euros per month: One in nine workers (11 percent or 200,759) fall into this revenue category, up by a remarkable 13.9 percent from October 2016 – a rise that is far greater than the overall increase in jobs.

Eurostat data showed on Tuesday that while the hourly cost of labor in Greece rose 0.8 percent in the third quarter of 2017, salary costs fell 1.8 percent and non-salary costs (social security contributions etc) increased 8.6 percent.

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