ECONOMY

Eurostat: Greeks slog away

Greeks are the third longest-working Europeans, Eurostat has found. The European Union’s statistics agency said that on average, Greeks work 41.6 hours per week, behind the Latvians (42 hours) and the Czechs (41.9 hours) and compared to an EU average of 37.4 hours per week. Eurostat also said that in the period January-March 2005, fewer than three in every five Greeks (59.5 percent) aged between 15 and 64 worked, while the EU average stood at 63.2 percent. In this age bracket 73.9 percent of men and 45.3 percent of women were employed. The EU average is 71.1 percent for men and 55.8 percent for women. Greek unemployment in the first quarter was at 10.6 percent, against 9.4 percent in the EU as a whole. Some 16.2 percent of women in Greece were jobless, as were 6.7 percent of men. Long-term unemployment affected 5.4 percent of Greeks, against 4.1 percent in the EU. Crucially, part-time employment is still not well utilized in this country, accounting for only 4.9 percent of workers against an EU average of 18.6 percent. No more than 2.2 percent of men and 9.1 percent of women opt for part-time jobs, when in the EU the figures stand at 7.5 percent for men and as high as 32.6 percent for women. The Eurostat report notes further that 11.4 percent of Greeks work under a fixed-term contract, against 13.8 percent in the EU. Women again hold the lead in this category with 13.6 percent in Greece, while just 9.9 percent of men have such contracts. Finally, work mobility in Greece is far smaller than in other EU states, as just 1.5 percent of Greek workers changed jobs in Q1 while in the EU this figure reaches 4 percent.