ECONOMY

Loverdos warns jobless could reach 1 million

Unemployment soared in October, with the jobless rate rising to 9.8 percent from 9.1 percent in September 2009, according to official figures by the National Statistical Service released yesterday. In October 2008 the figure stood at 7.4 percent. Labor Minister Andreas Loverdos dramatically predicted that within 2010 there may be as many as 1 million people unemployed, taking the jobless rate to as high as 18 percent. In October 2009 the number of people without a job reached 491,139, a yearly rise of 123,935. Loverdos announced the introduction of vouchers for the unemployed for them to meet their basic needs: It will cost 60-65 euros and entitles the holder to discounts on public transport tickets and supermarket purchases. The ministry will reveal more details next week.