Crisis takes toll on most productive age group

Crisis takes toll on most productive age group

The decade-long financial crisis has resulted in a dramatic decline in the size of the country’s most productive population group, and the phenomenon shows no sign of abating.

According to estimates, the 20-44 year-old age group shrank by 600,000 from 2011 to 2018. The number of Greeks in that age group went down by 437,000, while the population originating from other countries, mostly outside the European Union, diminished by 163,000.

Conditions remain particularly difficult for the 3.35 million people of that age group who have remained in the country and currently account for just 31 percent of the total population, down from 35 percent in 2010.

Only six out of 10 people in that bracket are employed, as the other four in 10 are either unemployed or “financially inactive.” Yet even those who do work receive very low salaries that lag between 25 and 44 percent the average salary of someone from 44 years old and above in the private sector.

The combination of low salaries and unemployment exacerbating a problem that is already evident in workplaces, with the average age of workers rising, and efficiency and birth rates dropping: As the most productive age group shrank, there was also a reduction by 110,000 in toddlers aged up to 4 years old.

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