ECONOMY

Labor market seen stagnating in Q2

Greece’s labor market is seen stagnating in the second quarter of the year, with job prospects in the country earning a score of zero, survey results showed yesterday. The survey, prepared by job finders Manpower Inc, said that expectations in Greece’s job market got marginally worse than in the first quarter of the year, for which the country was given a score of 1. The score is based on the number of employers likely to increase staff levels minus those who expect to cut their payrolls. Sixty-nine percent of the 750 employers questioned expect to maintain current staff levels from April to June, down from 71 percent in the first three months of 2010. The survey was held in the second half of January, before the government’s recent announcement of further austerity measures, which have hit business sentiment. The report added that employers which see a reduction in staff levels in the second quarter rose to 14 percent of respondents versus 13 percent previously. Greece’s jobless numbers have been growing steadily due to the downturn, reaching 10.6 percent of the working population in November, a five-year high. Manpower Inc also said that employment prospects were best in farming, energy and tourism. The worst prospects appeared in the fields of construction, manufacturing and transport. On a European level, employment prospects were best in Austria and Switzerland, where each country scored 4 and 5 respectively. The most downbeat forecasts came out of Ireland and Spain, which scored minus 14 and minus 9 respectively.