Unemployment kept falling in September

Greece’s jobless rate continued to decline in September, as Hellenic Statistical Authority figures showed on Thursday that unemployment amounted to 25.7 percent at the end of the third quarter, down from 26 percent in August. This compares with the record high of 28 percent registered in September 2013.

Greece’s jobless rate remains a far cry from the average level in the eurozone, which stood at 11.5 percent in September 2014, as Eurostat data testify.

According to ELSTAT the number of unemployed in Greece reached 1,241,114 people in September, while the financially inactive population amounted to 3,293,357 and employed people numbered 3,589,280.

Therefore the number of people with jobs rose by 79,247 within one year (a 2.3 percent rise) and by 55,085 people from August 2014 (up 1.6 percent). There were 123,115 fewer unemployed compared with September 2013 (down 9 percent year-on-year) and 940 people fewer than August 2014 (a drop of 0.1 percent). The disparity is due to the contraction of the financially inactive population – i.e. those who are neither working nor seeking work – by 6,501 people from September 2013 (down by 0.2 percent) and 58,519 people from August 2014 (a 1.7 percent reduction).

Unemployment among men stood at 22.8 percent in September and among women at 29.5 percent.

The highest jobless rate remains in the 15-24 age group, although it dropped to 49.8 percent from 57.3 percent in September 2013. The 25-34 age group posted a 36 percent jobless rate. The region of Macedonia-Thrace had the highest unemployment rate, amounting to 27.4 percent, with Attica in second (26.5 percent) and Epirus-Western Macedonia in third (26.1 percent).

The end of the tourism season in October led to an increase in the number of those registered as unemployed at the Manpower Organization (OAED), who reached 1,016,177 according to data also released on Thursday. This constitutes a rise of 48,077 people from September. However the number of those receiving a benefit declined by 10,673, falling from 111,072 in September to 100,399 in October.

The long-term unemployed (those without a job for at least 12 months) accounted for 48.87 percent of all jobless in September, numbering 496,702 people.

Meanwhile the process for the supply of 6.44 million euros in assistance to the 600 employees sacked by the Fokas retail group continues, as on Thursday the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets recommended the disbursement of total assistance of 35.5 million euros to some 6,000 people who have lost their jobs in France, Poland, Italy and Greece. The legislative plans will have to be approved by the plenary of the European Parliament and the council of European Union ministers.