Greek unemployment eases to 23.1 percent in September, eurozone’s highest


Greece's jobless rate dropped to 23.1 percent in September from a downwardly revised 23.3 percent in the previous month as the economy expanded in the third quarter, statistics agency ELSTAT said on Thursday.

The number of officially unemployed reached 1.11 million people. Hardest hit were young people aged 15 to 24 years, with their jobless rate dropping to 46.1 percent from 49.1 percent in the same month a year earlier.

The reading in September, based on seasonally adjusted data, was the lowest since March 2012 when unemployment stood at similar levels. The jobless rate hit a record high of 27.9 percent in September 2013.

Greece's jobless rate has come down from record highs but remains more than double the eurozone's average of 9.8 percent in October, a seven-year low.

The economy expanded by 0.8 percent in July-to-September compared to the second quarter, with Athens projecting a stronger recovery next year after a protracted recession.

The government expects unemployment will drop to 22.6 percent next year, based on its 2017 budget which sees the economy expanding by 2.7 percent.