ELSTAT rejects GSEE claims that official figures underestimate ‘real’ unemployment

Greece’s independent statistical authority ELSTAT on Monday criticised a recent report by the Employment Institute of the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) trade union group, advising “avoidance of references to ‘real’ unemployment rates” and rejecting suggestions that the official figures underestimated its full extent.
In an announcement, ELSTAT said that the unemployment figures that it published, as well as other labour market parameters, were drawn up in accordance with European guidelines and definitions, decided at international statistical conferences under the aegis of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in order to produce comparable statistics across the EU and OECD.

In response to criticism that this official figure did not take into account the workers that were under-employed, or people seeking work but not available during the period of the survey, or those available but not seeking work, ELSTAT clarified that these cases were also recorded as three separate indices after 2013, which were complementary to the unemployment rate. These recorded individuals that “shared common characteristics with those considered unemployed, on the basis of the established definition of the ILO, but did not satisfy all the criteria to be termed unemployed,” ELSTAT said.