ECONOMY

No summer break for job woes

One out of two workers who lost their job in August was hired for a specific time period on a contract that was not renewed. In the same month, the Manpower Organization (OAED) showed that 12,130 jobs were lost compared to the same period a year earlier. Half of those who lost their jobs applied for unemployment benefits from OAED. Just over one in three, 35.13 percent, who looked for another job via the state employment office lived in the Attica region. The percentage is also particularly high in central Macedonia, at 20.63 percent. Contract workers, the long-term unemployed, workers aged between 35 and 45 and those from central and eastern Macedonia are proving to be the ones hardest hit by the crisis, which is spreading to all parts of the labor market. Figures provided yesterday by OAED showed that 648,032 people were unemployed while confirming that all sectors and social groups are seeing jobs vanish at a fast pace. The number of businesses that shift full-time workers to a part-time basis is also on the up. Additionally, sectors such as banking have started to cut salaries and other benefits provided to their staff. Even if no merger activity takes place in the sector, as widely expected, a head-count reduction is likely to occur as of January, particularly at branches where staff demands have fallen in the last 18 months. Deteriorating conditions are also contributing to uncertainty over the future of the 13th and 14th monthly salary paid to Greek workers for the Easter, summer and Christmas periods. One large business group, which has seen profits plunge recently, suggested to its workers either reducing the amount paid from the two extra months or even temporarily suspending the payments in a bid to save 100 jobs from being axed. The two sides have not reached an agreement so far. Out of the 648,032 people on OAED’s jobless list, some 78,810 are not actively looking for work, resulting in the number of people job hunting falling to 569,222. Those employed on open-ended work agreements – an employment contract that is not limited to a specific time period – have proven to be more resilient to the downturn.