Record number of layoffs in October


Greece’s high structural unemployment, the huge degree to which employment depends on tourism, and entrapment in seasonal jobs in economic activities of low specialization ensure that the economy remains vulnerable and lead to high numbers of layoffs at the end of every tourism season.

The Labor Ministry’s Ergani hirings database on Thursday showed a record number of worker departures in October, totaling 125,668, which made it the worst October since 2001, when data records began. The country’s employment figures always suffer a blow in October due to the end of the tourism season.

Also on Thursday the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) issued its August unemployment data, showing that the jobless rate had declined to 16.7 percent from 18.9 percent a year earlier.

In comments on the figures, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said they illustrate that the momentum which started in 2013 is continuing and the labor market is now entering a new stage of recovery: “This will rely on the release of the competitive dynamics of the real economy, the simplification, transparency and efficient enforcement of labor market rules, the support of healthy entrepreneurship and the growth-oriented leveraging of small and big investments,” he said.