Migrants in Greece struggle to find work

Migrants in Greece struggle to find work

Greece’s labor market appears saturated and the government needs to take measures to assist migrants seeking employment, an expert who drafted a study on the issue told Xinhua.

The increased foreign workforce in Greece has contained the improvement in the country’s jobless rate for non-Greeks, according to a study conducted by the state-funded Center of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE).

According to Hellenic Statistical Authority figures processed by KEPE, the general jobless rate in Greece came to 19.2 percent in January-March 2019, down from 21.2 percent a year earlier.

But the jobless rate among non-Greek men during the same period dropped just one percentage point to 32.3 percent, and rose 2.4 percentage points to 41.1 percent among non-Greek women.

In fact the number of employed non-Greek men and non-Greek women rose by 11.9 percent and 5.4 percent year-on-year, respectively, in the first quarter of 2019. But because of the influx of more migrants, the increases were overshadowed.

Ioannis Cholezas, the scientific researcher who drafted the KEPE study, told Xinhua that the rise in the number of employed foreigners is due to the recovery of sectors that tend to prefer to hire non-Greeks.

“The main sectors that are seeing an increase in the employment of foreigners are tourism, which not only has jobs for unskilled workers but also addresses foreign visitors, so there is more sense in employing non-Greeks, and construction, partly due to tourism again,” said Cholezas.

“The state will need to address the issue of language, as the majority of new migrants to Greece use languages that are not at all related to Greek, such as Arabic. Another necessary intervention is the examination of migrants’ skills and their certification in some form by the Greek state, for foreign workers to be able to present those papers to potential employers,” he said.


Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.