BUSINESS

Worst Jan-Aug period for jobs since 2013

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Economy

The Greek economy’s hopes for the containment of unemployment rest on next year now, as the August data from the Labor Ministry’s Ergani hirings database showed on Friday that this year will likely close with a significant reduction in jobs compared to last year.

The effect of the coronavirus crisis on the labor market has been severe, with the first eight months of 2020 showing the lowest number of jobs created in years.

In fact the August balance of hirings and departures was positive, and marginally higher than in August 2019, with the net addition of 4,342 jobs in the market last month – which is 1,231 more new jobs than a year earlier.

However, over the full eight-month period, there was a dramatic reduction in new jobs created. This drop came to 169,239 compared to the same period last year. This has been the worst showing since 2013, leading employment experts to estimate that the situation will likely not improve much over the rest of the year.

The same experts add that this phenomenon appeared in May, and with the abrupt end to the short tourism season it is unlikely to change.

Hirings in the first eight months of the year were 547,554 fewer than in January-August 2019, and it was the measures to contain dismissals that stemmed the flow of departures.

Commenting on the Ergani data, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said that the government’s emergency measures averted the wave of sackings that have damaged other countries’ economies. He added that the measures already applied “will be enhanced, broadened and continued for as long as is deemed necessary.”

As regards the type of labor contracts seen in August, full employment only marginally exceeded flexible forms of labor: There were 82,267 full-time hirings, or 51.23% of the total, with the rest concerning part-time contracts. Notably, there was a net creation of 6,261 jobs for women and a net loss of 1,919 jobs for men.

Age data from Ergani showed that there was a net job loss for lower age groups while higher age brackets did better: 15-24-year-olds lost 3,607 jobs last month and the 25-29 bracket lost another 1,012. The 30-44 age group saw a net gain of 3,831 jobs and 5,089 jobs were taken up by people aged 45-64.

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