Joblessness falls in Q2

Unemployment in Greece fell to 10.2 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2004 from 11.3 percent in the first quarter, according to National Statistics Service (NSS) data released yesterday. The decline is attributed to employment rising ahead of the Olympic Games. Still, it was the second highest in the eurozone, with only Spain faring worse (11.1 percent). The zone’s average was 9 percent. People aged 15-29 are the hardest hit by unemployment in Greece: About 20.2 percent of them are out of work, with 27.5 percent of woman in this age group out of a job. Unemployment is highest among secondary school graduates, while university and primary education graduates fare better. The educational group hardest hit is that of technical education graduates (12.4 percent), while postgraduate degree-holders have the lowest jobless rate (6.2 percent). In regional terms, western Macedonia has the highest unemployment rate (16.4 percent), while Crete boasts the lowest (5.9 percent). In the capital, it is 9.1 percent. Of the 493,102 registered unemployed in Greece, 56.1 percent are «long-term» (over 12 months); 36.4 percent are exclusively seeking full-time employment and 48.2 percent will work either part-time or full-time. Only 5.5 percent of the unemployed have been proposed a job but rejected it for various reasons, mainly because it had a low salary (27 percent). Finally, the unemployment rate among foreign nationals is 9.4 percent.