Engineers underemployed

The once-flourishing job prospects of engineers have begun to look far less rosy and there are fears that unemployment and underemployment will grow now that the Olympic Games are over. According to data presented recently by the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), the slump in private and public projects has led to unprecedented unemployment among freelance engineers, who represent 50 percent of the total. Given that at least one in two engineers works in construction, the consequences of a crisis are obvious. Some 100,000 engineering graduates are TEE members and the proportion of engineers in the Greek population – 0.09 per 1,000 residents – is the highest in Europe. The profession is also subject to «invisible» unemployment, as many engineers who worked in construction companies or large survey firms as freelancers have stopped working without being officially listed as unemployed. TEE President Yiannis Alavanos and National Technical University professor Lefteris Papayiannakis recently released figures showing that 13.5 percent of engineers work in part-time and flexible positions as freelancers or on short-term contracts.