Long-term unemployment soars

More than six out of every 10 jobless people in Greece have been out of work for over a year, according to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data published on Thursday.

Fourth-quarter figures for 2012 put the unemployment rate at 26 percent, from 24.8 percent in the previous quarter and 20.7 percent a year earlier. The jobless number reached 1,295,535, with 65.3 percent having been without work for more than 12 months.

Still, the reduction in employment amounted to less than 1.5 percent compared with the previous quarter and 6.4 percent compared with the October-December period in 2011.

The jobless rate is even higher among foreign nationals in Greece, amounting to 36.9 percent, even though the rate of financially active foreigners is considerably higher than that of Greeks. Rates remain particularly high among people aged up to 24 years (57.8 percent) and in the most productive age group, 29-44 (32.2 percent). Women are the hardest hit, with 29.7 percent being out of work.

The tertiary or service sector remains the most important employment pillar, accounting for 70.5 percent of jobs. The secondary sector, concerning manufacturing, takes a 16.3 percent share, while the primary sector has no more than 13.2 percent of jobs in Greece, or just over one in eight, ELSTAT data showed.

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