The Greek labor markets showed some positive reflexes over the first month out of quarantine and the gradual reopening of the economy, as according to the Labor Ministry’s Ergani hirings database there was a surplus of 37,568 jobs in June.
The figures published on Monday showed that the net result after the comparison of hirings with dismissals was better last month than in June 2019 by 6,161 jobs, although this comparison is not quite fair: Last year most hirings in the tourism sector had taken place in spring, while this year that was not possible due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The quite optimistic picture last month was partly the outcome of the measures to contain layoffs; experts note that a possible increase in dismissals may come in the second half of July, when the layoff ban expires for employees who entered suspension status in May.
All experts agree that the most difficult period will be this October, due to an expected second wave of the pandemic and because of the ending of the tourism season and the protection measures that will apply until end-September for seasonal workers.
The big picture for the first half of the year doesn’t really allow for any optimism: In January-June 2020 the Greek economy created 43,394 jobs, which is 253,072 fewer than in the same period in 2019. Despite the positive net result, this year’s record is the fourth worst in the last 20 years.
The Ergani data showed that last month there were 238,353 hirings in Greece, down 51,136 from last year. In the same month, 200,785 salaried workers left their jobs, that is 57,297 departures below the figure of June 2019.
More than half of the contracts implemented last month concerned flexible labor, with just 49.84% of contracts for full-time employment. There was a great disparity in new jobs for men and women, as 32,510 new jobs concerned men and only 5,058 were taken by women. The great increase in the employment of workers aged 15-24 years, by 21,857 jobs, shows employers opted for younger and therefore less expensive employees.