Greek Jobless Rate Starts Creeping Up Again After Gains

OAED - Manpower Employment Organization in Athens. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Giorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS – With Greece starting to inch toward a recovery after a near nine-year-long economic crisis – but still saddled with decades of loan debt – the country’s unemployment rate climbed slightly to 18.7 percent in the last quarter of 2018.

While the government of Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who offered no new programs to help those out of work, is taking credit for what he said is a rebound, the unemployment rate is still the highest in the 28-country European Union after having fallen considerably, showing the depth of the crisis.

The Greek statistical authority ELSTAT said that 881,000 people were jobless in October-December 2018, 1.1 percent higher than the previous three-month period. Compared to the year before, it’s 12.5 percent lower. Unemployment was highest in the 15-19 age range, at 52.7 percent.

At its highest point during Greece’s eight-year financial crisis, 28 percent of the Greek workforce was out of work, a post-war record.

The figures show one-in-two unemployed in Greece have been out of work for at least two years. Those out of work for more than a year don’t get unemployment benefits.


(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)