Greek unemployment drops to 22.5 pct in March, still eurozone’s highest


Greece’s jobless rate dropped to 22.5 percent in March from a downwardly revised 22.9 percent in the previous month, statistics agency ELSTAT said on Thursday, but remained the eurozone’s highest.

February’s jobless rate was revised lower from 23.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted data showed that the number of officially unemployed reached 1.068 million people. Hardest hit were young people aged 15 to 24 years, with their jobless rate dropping to 46.6 percent from 50 percent in March last year.

Greece’s jobless rate hit a record high of 27.9 percent in September 2013. It has come down from record highs but remains more than double the eurozone’s average.

Unemployment in the 19 countries sharing the euro stood at 9.4 percent in March.

Greece’s economy expanded in the first three months of 2017. Economic output grew 0.4 percent compared to the final quarter of 2016.

The government expects the jobless rate to drop to 22.8 percent this year from 23.5 percent in 2016 and sees the economy expanding by 1.8 percent.