Jobless rate climbs to unprecedented levels

Unemployment has soared to unprecedented levels in Greece as June figures have put the overall jobless rate at 24.4 percent of the financially active population in June, according to data published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Thursday.

The rate has gone up from 23.5 percent in May 2012 and soared by over 7 percentage points from 17.2 percent in June 2011. This was in a month that is traditionally seen as close to the peak of the tourism season. On the other hand, June was the second consecutive month of a prolonged election period that saw a great part of the economic sector grind to a halt over fears of further political instability.

The number of the officially unemployed reached a historic high of 1,216,419 people, while the financially inactive population amounted to 3,372,097. Those employed were therefore a minority, numbering 3,766,415 people. In the last four years, from June 2008, 794,197 jobs have been lost.

With the recession set at a 7 percent rate this year, the previous governments? outlook for an unemployment rate of 20 percent by the end of the year appears Utopian to say the least right now.

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