ECONOMY

More jobs in commerce but most new positions are part-time

more-jobs-in-commerce-but-most-new-positions-are-part-time

Employment in Greece’s commerce sector remains below 700,000 people for a fourth year, while the majority of new positions that have opened up offer little in the way of job security. Part-time labor continues to gain ground while salaries keep dropping, contributing to the vicious circle of austerity, which, along with the capital controls, has reversed the positive momentum of last year, according to a report on Greek commerce issued on Monday.

The annual survey by the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Industry (ESEE) showed that employment in the commerce sector rose this year (based on data up to the second quarter) by 5.3 percent, or 32,824 jobs, from 2014, after a constant decline since 2009. However, it remains way below the 700,000-job mark, at 657,230 employees.

Crucially, the majority of jobs created in the sector this year concerned part-time work: Out of the 32,824 new jobs, 15,688 provided full-time employment and 17,136 part-time jobs. The part-time rate has more than doubled since the start of the financial crisis, rising from 4.5 percent of all employment in 2008 to 10.6 percent in 2015.

Temporary employment has also gained considerable ground, with three-year labor contracts giving way to contracts for just a few months. Out of a total 392,364 salaried positions in commerce, 363,072 concern permanent employment and 29,292 temping jobs. Permanent jobs have increased 7 percent since 2014 while temporary ones have grown by 12 percent.

The ESEE survey also found that only 5.6 percent of male employees and 3 percent of women in commerce work on temporary contracts of three years or more, while 70 percent of all temping employees have contracts of less than a year. Figures show an increase in contracts of four to six months and seven to 12 months.

Full-time employees have seen their incomes shrink, as the average salary in commercial enterprises employing more than 10 people has declined by 15.60 percent since 2012, while for smaller companies the drop comes to 28.36 percent.