ATHENS — The labour market was affected by measures taken to protect public health and to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, Hellenic Statistical Authority said in a report on Thursday. In the report, the statistics service said that the measures, which began in the 11th week of the quarter, largely affected not only the operation of the market but collection of data for employment and unemployment in the country. More specifically, the statistics service said the main consequences of the pandemic in the labour market were: an increase in absences from work, lower working hours, more home work and an increase in the non-active number of the population.
The statistics service said the unemployment rate was 16.2 pct in the first quarter, totaling 745,093 unemployed people, from 16.8 pct in the previous quarter and 19.2 pct in the corresponding period last year. The number of unemployed people fell by 5.3 pct from the previous quarter and by 17.9 pct from the same period in 2019. The report said that a 70.5 pct of unemployed people were long-term unemployed, a 25 pct of unemployed were seeking full-time jobs and a 66.9 pct were seeking full-time jobs but were willing to accept part-time if needed. The percentage of unemployed people registered with Manpower Employment Authority was 19.2 pct while the percentage receiving unemployment benefit was 17.1 pct. The 15-19 and the 20-24 age groups recorded the highest unemployment rates (34.2 pct and 34.5 pct, respectively), followed by the 25-29 age group 926 pct), 30-44 (15.5 pct), 45-64 (13 pct) and over 65 (8.2 pct). Among the country's regions, Western Greece (20.4 pct), Western Macedonia (19.4 pct) and Central Macedonia (19.3 pct) recorded the highest unemployment rates, followed by Central Greece (19.3 pct), Epirus (17.5 pct), Crete (17 pct), Eastern Macedonia-Thrace (16.7 pct), Northern Aegean (16.3 pct), Thessaly (16.2 pct), Attica (14.3 pct), Ionian Islands (13.6 pct), Southern Aegean (14 pct) and Peloponese (10.8 pct).
The number of employed people totaled 3,852,615 in the first quarter of 2020, with the unemployment rate falling 1.3 pct compared with the previous quarter and rising 1.0 pct compared with the same period last year.