Thousands lose jobs in commerce

Employment in commerce contracted by 27,100 jobs in the year to September, according to the annual report of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE), while in the economy as a whole it declined by 104,920 people. Some 60 percent of the drop in the trade sector was in retail, 30 percent in car sales and the remaining 10 percent in wholesale commerce. Unemployment in the sector is expected to grow further next year as 43.7 percent of medium-sized and big trade companies intend to reduce their staff, as do 13.1 percent of the smaller ones. About 27,500 enterprises have shut down so far this year, according to data from the chambers of commerce. Flexible jobs are on the rise as they have reached 344,000, posting growth of 19.4 percent, while full-time jobs have only grown by 1.4 percent in the last year. Part-time work has grown in absolute figures by 2,750 jobs, with 88 percent of that figure concerning people aged over 30.