NEWS

An employment policy with no real sense of direction

It is evident that the OAED schemes have brought about an increase in temporary employment, a trend that is likely to continue in 2007. But the schemes do not actually improve the job prospects of those who take part. Employment policy lacks orientation. The schemes in some enterprises (such as Keranis Holdings and Preveza Yarnmakers), and areas (Aitoloacarnania, Epirus and Evros) are implemented to provide a temporary solution to loss of income from mass redundancies or bankruptcies. The state employment services have thus become a gateway to state welfare. Unemployment continues to be addressed by a benefits policy. But unemployment in Greece is not just an average of 8.3 percent. Among the young aged 15 to 29 the rate is 17.6 percent and one in two young people who enter the job market are unable to find work. Out of the total number unemployed the figure for young people increased to 38.06 percent while more than half the unemployed are out of work for over 12 months. The statistics actually lowball the extent of the problem, as is true for the whole of the EU, due to the way labor studies are conducted. Someone who works just one day in the week is not considered to be unemployed. This of course has different implications for someone in Greece compared to someone in Ireland, the Netherlands or Germany. An hourly wage of -3.60 has no purchasing power. The part-time labor market is underdeveloped and cannot serve as a stepping stone toward acquiring an adequate income.