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Economy

Greek Unemployment Jumps to 17 Percent During COVID Pandemic

ATHENS – Greece’s jobless rate rose slightly, to 17 percent in April, when a now eased lockdown had tighter restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, including barring restaurants from serving customers inside.

That was up 0.2 percent from the previous month,  data from the country's statistics agency ELSTAT showed, with seasonally adjusted data showing 762,553 were officially unemployed, with those aged under 24 the hardest hit as usual, said Reuters.

The rate for those 15-24 was 46.8 percent, rivaling the record during a near decade-long economic and austerity crisis, worsened by temporary closings of non-essential businesses, with the government propping them up, and workers, with subsidies.

That was a big jump though from the 33.6 percent rate for April of 2020 as the pandemic was beginning to surge through the country and world. Greece’s jobless rate, which hit a record high of 27.8% in September 2013, has been falling but remains the highest in the Eurozone, the report added.

Women were far worse off, with a 21.4 percent jobless rate compared to 13.6 percent for men.

Joblessness affected women more than men, with the respective rates in April at 21.4% and 13.6%, the data showed but the economy is hanging tough despite the health crisis, helped by investments.

Unemployment on an annual basis shrank 2.3 percent in the first quarter, slower than a downwardly revised rate of 6.9 percent the last quarter of 2020.

The European Commission raised its latest forecast for Greece’s economic growth this year to 4.1 percent from 3.5 percent and projected a 16.3 percent jobless rate in 2021 and 16.1 percent for 2022.

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