The domestic labor market paradox


The jobless rate may remain steadily above 20 percent in Greece, but six out of 10 employers say they are finding it difficult to find the right staff for some of their job openings, according to the annual international report on the problem of a lack of people with the right skills that ManpowerGroup conducted for 2018.

The 61 percent rate is the highest recorded in Greece over the last decade that the survey has taken place, and is 16 percentage points above the international average rate of 45 percent.

The study was published on Tuesday, just a day after another one by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), which revealed the continued lack of links between education and the labor market, as employers report: They say that the main reasons for the difficulty in finding people with the right skills and filling vacancies are the lack of necessary experience (27 percent), technical skills (25 percent), available candidates (17 percent) and personal skills (7 percent).

The list of factors also includes the expectation of a higher salary (12 percent), which is a significant reason for employees themselves, according to the IOBE report.

The 61 percent rate takes Greece to seventh spot in the ManpowerGroup survey’s chart of countries, one place lower than in 2016. The first five positions are taken by countries where employers find it particularly hard to hire the right candidates: Japan (89 percent), Romania (81 percent), Taiwan (78 percent), Hong Kong (76 percent) and Bulgaria (68 percent).

In fact, this is the ninth consecutive year that employers in Greece are facing the greatest difficulty in covering vacancies in the specialty of “professional sales assistants,” followed by “technicians,” which has risen from sixth to second in the list. Globally, the most difficult specialty in recruiting is “specialized technicians,” which is the third most difficult in Greece.

“The companies that use the right instruments to help people acquire new skills and evolve in their career in the long term will be those that become the most competitive in the future,” commented Manpower Greece general commercial director Babis Kazantzidis.