ECONOMY

38,000 Greek workers turn to farming, fishing in crisis

Some 38,000 workers in Greece have swapped profession in the midst of the economic crisis, turning to the farming and fishing industry, according to PASEGES, Greece?s main farmers union.

PASEGES said that study results for the 2008-2010 period showed that a previous trend for workers to leave the agricultural sector has been reversed as the country’s jobless rates hit record highs.

?The trend of rising employment in farming…underlines the primary industry?s importance in countering the recession which is affecting the labor market in almost all areas of economic activity,? PASEGES said in a statement.

Farming is the country?s second largest industry, based on employee numbers, after the trade sector as it employs some 551,000 people, or 12.5 percent of the working population, according to the study.

Some 95 percent of the 38,000 workers turned to farming activities while the remainder now make a living from the fishing industry, it added.

With Greece?s economy in its third year of recession, the latest data shows that the country?s unemployment rate soared to 14.8 percent in December, versus 10.2 percent in the same period a year earlier.