Greeks are no slackers

Putting the stereotype of lazy Greeks to rest, Eurostat data published yesterday in Brussels showed that people in this country work more than the EU average. The average working time per week stands at 40.7 hours, against an average of 40.5 hours in the 27 EU members. The bloc’s greatest hard workers are the Austrians and the British, with 42.4 hours per week, while those working the least hours every week are the Dutch (38.9 hours), the Belgians (39 hours) and the French (39.1 hours). Employment among people aged between 15 and 64 years has reached 61 percent in Greece, according to Eurostat data. The EU average stood at 64.4 percent. The number of working men within this age bracket in Greece is considerably more than that of working women: 74.6 percent of men versus 47.4 percent of women. The gap in employment between the sexes in this country is the second highest in the European Union behind Malta. Eurostat suggested that 71.6 percent of men and 57.2 percent of women aged 15-64 years work in the EU. The highest levels of employment are in Denmark (77.4 percent) and the Netherlands (74.3 percent), while the lowest are in Romania (58.8 percent) and Slovakia (59.4 percent). As far as people aged 55-64 years are concerned, Greece’s employment rate came to 42.3 percent, compared with an EU average of 43.5 percent. In this age group, 59.2 percent of men work against 26.6 percent of women (in the EU, the respective rates are 52.6 percent and 34.8 percent). Few part-timers Part-time employment is definitely less common in Greece that in the rest of the EU. No more than 5.7 percent of Greeks work part-time, against an EU average of 18.8 percent. Women part-timers are far more numerous than men (10.2 percent against 2.9 percent). The EU average is 32.7 percent for women and just 7.7 percent for men. The same data also show that 12 percent of Greeks work in agriculture (4.7 percent in the EU as a whole), 22.1 percent in industry (27.4 percent in the EU) and 65.9 percent in services (67.9 percent in the EU). Last year, unemployment affected 434,000 Greeks (162,000 men and 272,000 women) out of a total of 19.1 million people in the whole of the EU. More than half (54.3 percent) have been out of work for over a year, against 44.9 percent in the EU-27. The long-term unemployed reach 46.5 percent in Greece (45.1 percent in the EU), while among women this rate comes to 59 percent (44.8 percent in the EU). Some 8.2 percent of young people are jobless in Greece, slightly higher than the EU average (7.8 percent).

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