Austerity hits private sector workers harder than civil servants


Half of Greece’s private sector employees (50.2 percent) earned less than 800 euros a month in 2017, according to a survey conducted by INE/GSEE, the country’s largest trade union.

Although the austerity measures introduced eight years ago to deal with the debt crisis have affected most Greeks, private sector workers seem to be suffering to a greater extent than public servants.

In addition to wage cuts, private sector employees face more flexible forms of labor with lower salaries.

In 2009, part-time jobs accounted for 21 percent of new hirings, while in 2017 the percentage jumped to 54.9 percent, according to the INE/GSEE survey.

The percentage of low earners with net monthly wages of less than 499 euros in the private sector stood at 14.5 percent last year, 22.9 percent of private sector employees earned between 500 and 699 euros per month, and 12.8 percent were paid 700 and 799 euros monthly.

The percentage of wage earners with net monthly wages of between 900 and 1,300 euros in the private sector dropped to 16.8 percent in 2017 from 35.7 percent in 2009.

In the wider public sector, the percentage of workers with net monthly wages below 800 euros stood at 10.3 percent last year, while 55.1 percent of public servants had net monthly wages above 1,000 euros.