Number of salary workers soars by over 11 pct in one year

The annual employment report from the Labor Ministry illustrates the lack of innovation in Greek entrepreneurship, as those setting up a business tend to resort to easier activities in the service sector such as commerce and catering. It also points to the decimation of many small enterprises and the fact that the majority of employed people work for just 1.6 percent of employers.

Among the positive features of the report based on data from the ministry’s Ergani register of hirings and dismissals is the increase in employment, as within one year employers have created a total of 159,729 jobs while at the same time 17,714 new enterprises were set up offering work to at least one employee.

The figures for 2013 had shown the number of enterprises employing at least one worker numbering 196,695, but this climbed to 214,409 this year, or a 9 percent increase within 12 months. Nine out of 10 of those firms (89.6 percent) employ just one person.

Just under half of all enterprises (45.5 percent) are active in catering and wholesale and retail commerce: Retail companies account for 17.98 percent of enterprises, 13.12 percent are in catering and 10.72 percent in wholesale trade.

The total number of salary workers in Greece amounts to 1,531,179 people this year, up from 1,371,450 in 2013. This constitutes a 11.65 percent increase in salaried employment in 12 months.

However more than one in every five employees (21.81 percent or 333,918 people) are in part-time employment or shift work. Of the remaining 1,197,271, 39.75 percent receive a gross salary of between 500 and 1,000 euros per month. A total of 8.95 percent of employees receive salaries below the official minimum level. Total monthly expenditure for salaries amounts to 1.595 billion euros gross.

Interestingly, the majority of employees (70.99 percent) belong to the 19-44 age group, with 777,073 people in the 30-44 age bracket. This is the large group of workers expected to be affected by the upcoming increase in the required years of employment from 15 to 20 for the right to a reduced or full pension.

There are also 28.43 percent of employees aged between 45 and 64 in the private sector, while 5,495 people are still working beyond the age of 64 years, and declaring so to the authorities.