BUSINESS

Jobless rate to stay high in 2019

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Economy

Greece’s jobless rate is seen averaging at an alarmingly high level of 18.2 percent in 2019 despite the continued increase in employment (at a rate estimated at 1.4 percent this year), spurring the brain drain phenomenon.

In a bid to contain this outflow of young and skilled workers, the Labor Ministry has drafted programs for enticing young university graduates to return to the labor market – and given that the jobs in the private sector are quite limited in Greece, the programs provide for employment in the public sector.

On Wednesday the Manpower Organization (OAED) published a provisional list of the beneficiaries for the special employment program, which concerns the hiring of 5,500 tertiary education graduates, aged between 22 and 29 years, for 12 months on terms of full-time employment at ministries and subordinate public entities.

The definitive average rate of unemployment in 2018 is expected to have come to 19.6 percent, as its decline is faster than the increase of employment. As the Finance Ministry admitted in the 2019 budget, in the last few months of 2018 there was a slowdown in the growth of employment compared to 2017, so that it is estimated to have closed last year at 1.3 percent, down from 1.5 percent in 2017.

For 2019 the jobless rate is seen averaging at 18.2 percent, dropping to 16.7 percent by the end of this year. Employment is anticipated to grow 1.4 percent year-on-year.

For the first few months of the year the Labor Ministry has designed three new programs for 16,000 jobless people, with a total budget of 90 million euros. The first concerns training, practical experience and certification for 3,000 unemployed people aged between 24 and 29 years old, in information and communication technologies, with an emphasis on software development. The second targets the training and certification of 3,000 language and literature graduates, while the third aims to give a career boost to 10,000 jobless aged 18-29 years old in agriculture and food, manufacturing and the circular economy, a program that also concerns school graduates.

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