Jobless rate posts steady decline

Unemployment fell to 25.5 percent in the third quarter of the year, against 26.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 and 27.2 percent in the third quarter of 2013, according to seasonally unadjusted data published on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Employment increased by 1.4 percent in the summer quarter from the April-June period to cover 3,586,885 people, which was also up 1.5 percent from the July-September period in 2013. The number of jobless dropped 4 percent from Q2 2014 and 6.9 percent from the third quarter of 2013 to reach 1,229,370 people.

The highest jobless rate remains among the 15-24 age group, at 49.5 percent in the third quarter. The rate for women (29.2 percent) was far above that for men (22.6 percent), while young women appear to be suffering the most with a 56.6 percent jobless rate.

People with a low level of education are most likely to be unemployed. The highest jobless rates can be found among those who have only attended a few years at primary school (34.8 percent) and those who have never gone to school (33 percent).

The ELSTAT data also show that the “new jobless” (those who have never worked in the past) come to 24 percent of the total, while the long-term unemployed (those who have been seeking work for at least 12 months) constitute 75.4 percent of all jobless.

In a report yesterday about the risk of a reduction in the economy’s production forces, Eurobank warned that although the number of unemployed has decreased by 123,120 on an annual basis, employment grew by just 79,250 people. Therefore with the jobless rate at 25.69 percent in September, the work force contracted by 43,870 people. The report stressed that if the growth in the number of people employed had equaled the drop in unemployment, the jobless rate would have dropped to 25.46 percent.