Greek employers see labor market shrinking 15 pct in fourth quarter

Greek employers predict that the domestic labor market will contract 15 percent in the fourth quarter from the third, led by job losses in construction, manufacturing and tourism, Manpower Inc’s Greek unit said.

Construction employers predict a 21 percent decline in headcount in the three months through December 31, according to a Manpower survey of 750 companies received by e-mail on Tuesday. Manufacturers expect a 14 percent drop in the workforce, while restaurant and hotel owners foresee a 29 percent contraction and retailers and wholesalers a 16 percent decline.

Unemployment rose to 24.4 percent in June, according to the Hellenic Statistical Service. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras?s coalition government is working to reach agreement with European Union and International Monetary Fund officials on 11.5 billion euros ($14.7 billion) of budget cuts for 2013 and 2014, part of requirements to ensure bailout funds keep flowing to the country, which is in its fifth year of recession.

The Manpower survey found that 9 percent of companies intend to add workers, down four percentage points from the previous quarter, and 25 percent expect to reduce payrolls, three percentage points higher than in the third quarter; 65 percent foresee no change in staffing levels.

A 14 percent decline in employment is expected in Attica, which includes Athens and is the country?s largest region, and a 17 percent drop is seen in northern Greece, the study showed. [Bloomberg]

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