Jobless rate dips but stays high

Greece’s unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in the first quarter this year, from 9.1 percent in the same period a year earlier, but remains one of the highest in the eurozone, according to the National Statistics Service (NSS). The NSS said there were 406,547 people officially unemployed in Greece. It also estimated that 4.51 million had jobs. Joblessness continued to affect women more than men. In the first quarter, unemployment in the female population stood at 12.3 percent compared with 5.5 percent for men. The long-term unemployed, people out of work for more than 12 months, accounted for 47.6 percent of the jobless, the NSS said. The average jobless rate in the 15-member eurozone in the first three months of the year was 7.1 percent. Economists said employment may be hit by a slowdown in economic activity, although the jobless rate may pick up in the second quarter of the year due to a slowdown in the construction sector.