ECONOMY

State hirings before the election

State hirings before the election

The state made so many public sector hirings over the first three months of the year that it overshadowed the economy’s main employment leaders, i.e. services and tourism, according an analysis by Alpha Bank in its weekly bulletin.

The analysis of employment trends per economic sector revealed the broader public sector’s dominant role in job creation. It also pointed to the weak contribution of labor productivity toward the recovery of the Greek economy, mainly because of the remarkable decline in investments.

The Alpha bulletin further noted that the number of freelance professionals has declined due to the adverse tax and social security regulations, while an increase was only recorded in salaried employment.

The analysis was based on data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) which showed that employment rose 2 percent (or 75,400 workers) over the course of last year, while in the first quarter of the year this rose to 2.4 percent, or 90,200 workers.

The service sector added 29,500 jobs and tourism contributed 20,200 new jobs in January-March 2019, but the broader public sector – despite the fiscal constraints – accounted for even more jobs created in the same period, i.e. 30,600. Industry added 9,300 workers and 11,300 new jobs were created in manufacturing.

Salary workers increased by 111,700 in Q1 from the same period last year, while there were 21,600 fewer self-employed people. This has increased the ratio of salary workers to self-employed to 2.03, from 1.99 in 2018, 1.94 in 2017 and 1.81 in 2010.

The increase in people employed in the broader state sector coincided with a decline in the labor productivity ratio: Data showed a negative productivity trend in the first quarter of the year, primarily because of the decline in investments; this is attributed to the low quality of capital that has not been renewed and has not incorporated new technologies in their entirety.