Labor expert sees Greek recession next year at 5%, unemployment at 29%

The 11.5 billion euros of spending cuts that Greece is being asked to make over the next two years will lead to the economy contracting by about 5 percent next year and unemployment rising to about 29 percent, a leading labor expert has told Skai TV.

Savas Robolis, an economics professor and director of the Labor Institute at Greece?s largest private sector union, GSEE, made the comments after the latest unemployment figures showed the jobless rate passed 23 percent in May.

Robolis pointed out that 674,000 jobs have been lost in Greece over the last four years and he said at the current rate, it would take until 2023 for employment levels to reach what they were in 2008.

The labor expert added that the youth unemployment rate of 53 percent is a major problem, arguing that if graduates do not enter the labor market within five years of finishing what they studied, much of what they learnt becomes redundant.

Robolis said that the troika expressed concern about the high unemployment rate in a recent meeting he had with officials.