Concern over the ‘hidden jobless’

Concern over the ‘hidden jobless’

Greece’s financially inactive population has posted a worrying increase of 220,000 people within a year according to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures. This points to the pool of what the experts call “hidden unemployment” – people either out of the workforce because they have been on furlough for too long or seasonal staff who have not been employed.

The General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) describes the exceptionally fragile state of the local labor market in its annual report, stressing that employment in Greece over the next few months will depend on how businesses in sectors that were closed until April restart.

The employment market’s course will also depend on how the economy shapes up in the summer months and when it will definitively emerge from the health crisis.

The latest ELSTAT data on March unemployment, which came to 16.3% against an upwardly revised 16.6% in February, also reveal that the pool of those out of work is growing. Therefore 219,395 workers who have had their labor contracts suspended for many months or remain on furlough declared that they were neither working nor seeking employment, and are classified as financially inactive. That category numbered 3,477,133 people in March, up 6.7% from March 2020 and 0.9% or 29,325 people from February 2021.

The jobless amounted to 714,779 people, down 4.3% or 32,081 workers from a year earlier and 2.5% or 18,384 people from the previous month.

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