Job creation soared last month in Greece

Salaried employment soared last month, making it the best August since 2004 in terms of the balance between hirings and firings, according to Labor Ministry figures presented on Thursday. The rise was largely thanks to the major increase in foreign tourism arrivals.

Hirings outnumbered dismissals or departures in August by 10,969, with hiring announcements amounting to 72,685 and dismissals to 61,716, the ministry’s Ergani database showed. Last year, dismissals or departures had been the order of the day, outnumbering hirings by 2,178 in August.

The balance was particularly favorable in the food services sector, with 5,387 more hirings than sackings, which, incidentally, was during the same month that value-added tax was reduced in the sector. Wholesale trade had 3,736 more hirings, and education reported a positive balance of 1,461 jobs.

Notably, 63 percent of the jobs created were full-time, 31 percent were part-time and 6 percent rotating.

August was the sixth month in succession with a balance in favor of jobs created, with the number of hirings in the first eight months of 2013 rising by 15.4 percent on a yearly basis to 637,258, while job departures (including voluntary exits) came to 534,678. As a result, salaried employment had a positive balance of 102,580 jobs in the year to end-August, the official data showed.

“The results of the Ergani database concerning August once again confirm the estimate that the rise in the unemployment rate is being contained and the labor market is entering a stabilization phase,” said Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis upon the publication of the figures.

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