Unemployment rate hits another new high in September

The upward trajectory of unemployment in Greece is showing no signs of halting, as it climbed to 26 percent in September from 25.3 percent in August and 18.9 percent in September 2011, according to data released on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

The number of jobless in September came to 1,295,203 people, which was 356,334 more than in the same month last year – a year-on-year increase of 38 percent – and 34,670 more than in August 2012. The employed population totaled 3,695,053 in September and the financially inactive stood at 3,373,692.

ELSTAT data also showed that the jobless rate for those aged between 15 and 24 years soared to 56.34 percent from 47.6 percent in September 2011, while there was an equally big rise in the rate for 25-34-year-olds, from 25.6 percent last year to 34.3 percent in September. Women remain the biggest victims of unemployment, as 30.1 percent of this sector of the work force was without a job, from 22.3 percent last year. The unemployment rate for men stood at 22.9 percent in September, up from 16.4 percent a year earlier.

As the Greek recession continues to deepen, with the country’s gross domestic product shrinking by 7.2 percent in the year’s third quarter from Q3 of 2011, according to Eurostat, it appears there is little hope the picture in the job market will change any time soon.

Savvas Rombolis, the director of the Labor Institute of main unions GSEE and ADEDY, forecast on Skai Radio on Thursday that the economy will not rebound before 2015-16, while unemployment will only revert to the pre-crisis level of 10 percent at some point between 2025 and 2027.

The overall rate of GDP contraction in the eurozone in the July-to-September period amounted to 0.6 percent, while that of Cyprus reached 2.3 percent, Eurostat data showed. Greece had recorded negative growth of 6.7 percent in Q1 and 6.3 percent in Q2.

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