ECONOMY

As unemployment hits record high, another 320,000 jobs face risk

More than 320,000 jobs, representing some 7 percent of the country?s total work force, are at risk of being lost this year from businesses shutting down, according to survey results released on Thursday.

The General Confederation of Greek Small Businesses and Traders (GSEVEE), a group representing about 115,000 entrepreneurs across Greece, said that a survey it put together found that one in four small to medium-sized businesses — some 225,000 enterprises — consider it very likely that they will shut up shop in the near future.

?There is a serious risk of more than 320,000 jobs being lost [among employers, the self-employed and salary earners] in the coming period, most likely by the end of the year,? GSEVEE said in a statement.

Greece?s shrinking economy has already resulted in the loss of 188,000 jobs last year, it added.

Jobless rates in Greece have risen to record highs, according to figures from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). In October, unemployment rose to 13.5 percent from 12.6 percent in September, meaning that 684,000 people are looking for work, ELSTAT says.

The number of people employed also fell further, to 4.36 million in October.