The number of long-term unemployed people in Greece has come to over 800,000, as five out of seven have spent more than 12 months without work. One in three, moreover, is above the age of 45, making it that much harder for them to find another job.
Full-time jobs are in constant decline and being replaced by part-time employment, whose share has reached a historic high of 10 percent. Furthermore, the country’s working population is growing older, hundreds of thousands of unemployed people have professional experience in sectors that are unlikely to recover and more than 70 percent of the country’s employers run small or medium-sized enterprises that are unlikely to create new jobs in the near future.
A quantitative analysis of the country’s statistics on unemployment and employment highlights a series of problems in the labor market, key of which are:
– Rising long-term unemployment: In the last quarter of 2016 statistics agency ELSTAT counted 807,000 people who have been out of work for over 12 months, corresponding to 71.8 percent of all unemployed Greeks (1.124 million). In the same quarter of 2010 that rate had stood at 45.5 percent with 327,700 people in this category, meaning that long-term unemployed have increased in those six years by 146 percent.
– Aging workforce: The exodus of young professionals and university graduates to other countries coupled with an aging population resulted in the share of employed people over the age of 45 rising to 43.69 percent of all workers in end-2016 from 39.63 percent in 2010.
– The share of part-time work reached double digits in Q4 last year for the first time (10.3 percent), against 6.6 percent in end-2010.
– Full-time job losses: In 2010 ELSTAT recorded 3.99 million full-time jobs from a total of 4.28 million workers. In end-2016 there were 3.65 million people employed with 3.27 million of them in full-time work.
– High unemployment in “difficult” sectors: A number of sectors that were key to the Greek economy in the past, such as construction and commerce, are in critical condition today, with 154,000 former workers in wholesale or retail commerce now out of work. Another 83,600 jobless come from the construction sector.