ECONOMY

Unemployment sets new record at 27.9 pct in June

The unemployment rate is continuing to rise – reaching 27.9 percent in June – but at a clearly slower pace than in the same month last year, data released on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) showed.

The number of those who lost their jobs was at 128,999 from June 2012, when the new jobless had been almost three times as many (367,733) compared to June 2011.

Despite the clear benefit from the increase in hirings at the start of the tourism season and the positive balance recorded in the ratio of hirings to sackings at the Labor Ministry’s Ergani database (with 102,580 more people hired in the first eight months of the year), the number of unemployed in Greece climbed above the 1.4 million level (at 1,403,698 people) in June, while those employed were reduced further to 3,628,421. The reduction in employment amounts to 3.4 percent from June 2012 and to 0.1 percent from May 2013.

Commenting on the figures, the Labor Ministry said that “without incorporating the new data and based on the trends of previous years, ELSTAT has proceeded to a seasonal adjustment of growth,” raising the jobless rate from 27.6 percent in May to 27.9 percent in June.

“However, based on the statistical methodology that ELSTAT utilizes, the new data will be incorporated in adjustment of the seasonal factor,” the ministry insisted.

The rise in unemployment means that the three main social security funds (IKA, OAEE and OGA) have lost 336,714 contributors in the last eight years. As a result of the decline in construction activity alone, the Social Security Foundation (IKA) has lost 186,737 contributors – over 60 percent from that specific sector.

Worse still, data from the Manpower Organization (OAED) showed on Thursday that it cannot support any more than 15 percent of those registered as unemployed.