November jobless rate at 5 yr high

The unemployment rate in November rose to 10.6 percent, its highest in five years, from 7.8 percent in the same period in 2008, the National Statistical Service said yesterday. It was the largest year-on-year increase in Greek unemployment since records began in 2004. The 15-24 age bracket remained the worst hit with 27.8 percent out of work, a rise of 5.4 percent on last year. A total of 531,953 people were looking for employment in November, an increase of 89,681 people compared to last year. Unemployment among women rose from 11.6 percent last year to 13.3 percent, compared to 8.8 percent among men. Economists said the rise was fueled by uncertainty surrounding last October’s general elections and the financial crisis enveloping Greece, which had stalled private and public sector investment. Greece’s economy, which accounts for about 2.5 percent of the eurozone as a whole, is likely to keep contracting this year after entering its first recession in 16 years in 2009.

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