ECONOMY

April jobless rate climbs to 11.9 pct

Greece’s unemployment rate rose to 11.9 percent in April from 9.4 percent in the same month last year, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said yesterday. The country’s 15-24 age bracket remains the worst off, with more than one in three – 30.8 percent – out of work, compared to 25.2 percent last year, ELSTAT data showed. There were 596,979 people looking for employment in April, as the country’s work force numbered 4.41 million people. Unemployment among women rose from 13.3 percent last year to 15.5 percent, compared to 9.3 percent among men. Greece’s jobless rate was the fourth highest in the 16-member eurozone after Spain, Slovakia and Ireland and 1.8 percentage points above the bloc’s average in April. Official data showed a sharp deterioration in the labor market from April last year with conditions expected to continue to worsen into the summer. Sectors such as construction, retail and manufacturing have suffered the most from the ongoing crisis. Earlier this week, survey results put together by the ALBA Graduate Business School along with ECDL Hellas showed that 40 percent of businesses think they are likely to reduce their payrolls in the coming months.