One in three unemployed has been out of work for at least four years


Long-term unemployment is proving a particularly tough nut to crack in Greece, as data released on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) for the fourth quarter of last year showed that one in every three jobless people has been out of work for more than four years.

In total the share of the long-term jobless (those without work for at least 12 months) came to 71.8 percent of all the country’s registered unemployed, who numbered 1,006,844 people in Q4 2017.

Furthermore, the need for employment is so great that the vast majority of jobless (80.4 percent or 809,400 people) say they would willingly accept a part-time position, compared to a 46.8 percent rate in 2012.

The official unemployment rate at the end of December came to 21.2 percent, compared to 23.6 percent a year earlier. However, as the Greek economy is dominated by its seasonal features, the jobless rate actually increased on a quarterly basis in the October-December 2017 period: It rose by a full percentage point from the third quarter of 2017, when it had come to 20.2 percent. Employment in the last quarter of 2017 dropped 2.3 percent from the third quarter, but was up 2.4 percent on a year earlier. The number of jobless rose 3.8 percent in Q4 of 2017 compared to Q3, but was down 10.4 percent from the last quarter of 2016.

Fewer than two in every three workers (65.8 percent) are salary workers, while the share of self-employed professionals without any employees came to 22.7 percent in the last quarter. Part-timers accounted for 9.5 percent of employment, while 6.9 percent had temporary work.

The highest unemployment rates were found among women (26.1 percent), people aged between 15 and 19, in the region of Western Macedonia, and among those who only managed to attend primary school for a few years. The age group with the highest employment is 30- to 44-year-olds, while in terms of region it was the Northern Aegean, and education level, tertiary education graduates. Greeks were also more likely to be unemployed than non-Greeks.