More job losses than hirings were recorded in July, the peak of the tourist season, the latest data from the Labor Ministry’s Ergani database revealed.
Last month, 239,080 people started new jobs while 247,690 left their positions, producing a negative balance of 8,610. Of the total departures, 96,375 were voluntary and 151,315 comprised contract terminations.
The last time that departures outstripped hirings in July was in 2015, when a negative balance of 16,658 jobs was recorded.
July was also the second month this year (after January) when there were more departures than hirings. At the same time, of the 239,080 new hirings last month, almost 55 percent concerned part-time or shift work, that is mainly poorly paid positions for young people.
Despite July’s negative balance, in the first seven months of the year hirings outnumbered departures by 289,561, which the ministry said was the best January-July performance since 2001.
The significant increase in recruitment in the previous five months is probably behind the dip in hirings in July, experts told Kathimerini, as the tourism and food sectors, which are the engines of Greek employment during the summer, rushed to recruit more staff earlier.
As a result, hirings in the tourism and food sectors dropped off at the same time that numerous staff in the education sector were laid off at the end of the academic year.
Compared to 2017, 15,852 fewer jobs were created this July. In another indication of the direction the labor market is taking, the balance between hirings and departures was positive only in the 15-24 age group, where full-time workers can expect a minimum wage of 510 euros gross.
At the same time, flexible employment forms remain predominant. Of the new jobs created since the beginning of the year, 51.5 percent were part-time or fixed-term employment, compared to about 48 percent that were full-time positions.
Indeed, in July the situation worsened in this regard, with full-time contracts accounting for 45.31 percent of the total.