Slight drop in jobless rate in January


Greece’s jobless rate started the year with a small monthly decline, with Hellenic Statistical Authority figures issued on Thursday showing unemployment at 20.6 percent in January, against 20.8 percent in December 2017 and 23.2 percent a year earlier. However, January also saw an end to the relative rise in the number of employed people recorded in December.

ELSTAT data showed that unemployed in Greece numbered 977,222 in the first month of the year, down by 126,430 or 11.5 percent from January 2017, and by 10,167 or 1 percent from December 2017.

The number of people employed rose year-on-year by 98,712 or 2.7 percent to 3,755,427, yet on a monthly basis there was actually a decline by 12,443 people or 0.3 percent from December.

On a European level, Greece remains the unemployment champion, as according to Eurostat data the jobless rate averaged 7.3 percent across the European Union in January, the lowest since October 2008. In the eurozone the rate came to 8.6 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The country with the second highest jobless level is Spain, at 16.3 percent.