ECONOMY

Local labor market is deteriorating

June was the worst month so far this year in terms of employment in Greece, as layoffs increased to their highest level for 2009, according to the Bank of Greece, which used data from the Manpower Organization (OAED). A total of 83,596 people lost their jobs last month, representing a 6.7 percent rise since June 2008. There were also 31,885 voluntary departures from work, posting a 19.8 percent decline from June 2008, while hirings came to 113,571 people, which is 10.9 percent less than in the same month last year. As a result, the net figure in the labor market reads minus 1,910 jobs, the worst number since the start of the year. The seasonal effect of the start of the summer that used to have a positive impact on this index has not been reflected this year in the official figures. It is possible that, due to the crisis, companies that operate in the summer months have chosen to hire more uninsured staff. The net figure for the first six months of 2009 remains positive, as there were 470,676 jobs lost and 509,422 hirings, mostly due to the temporary and part-time employment offered in the months of April and May. The negative picture in the labor market is also evident from the expectations of businesses and consumers regarding employment over the next three to four months. Public works and retail commerce aside, there is a negative trend in all sectors.