Greek unemployment rate at 23.6 pct in Q4 2016

Greek unemployment rate rose to 23.6 pct of the workforce in the fourth quarter of 2016, from 22.6 pct in the third quarter, but fell from 24.4 pct in the corresponding period in 2015, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.

The statistics service, in a report, said the number of unemployed people was 1,123,990 in the October-December period, up 2.9 pct from the previous quarter, but down 4.3 pct from the fourth quarter of 2015. Long-term unemployed people totaled 807,025, 71.8 pct of total unemployment. Unemployment among young people remained at high levels, while the unemployment rate rose in the ages above 45 years old and in all Aegean islands.

The unemployment rate among women was 28.1 pct in the fourth quarter from 28.4 pct in 2015, while among men it was 19.9 pct from 21.2 pct. Unemployment rate in the 15-24 age group was 45.2 pct in the fourth quarter from 49 pct in the same period in 2015, followed by the 25-29 age group (33.6 pct from 37.4 pct, the 30-44 age group (22.6 pct from 23.2 pct), the 45-64 age group (19.4 pct from 19 pct) and the above 65 years (13.8 pct from 10 pct).

Among the country’s regions, Western Macedonia recorded the highest unemployment rate (31.2 pct in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 32.2 pct in 2015), followed by Western Greece (unchanged at 28.9 pct), Central Macedonia (24.5 pct from 25.4 pct), Thessaly (24.4 pct from 28.6 pct), Epirus (24.1 pct from 24.4 pct), Central Greece (23.6 pct from 26.2 pct), Attica (23.2 pct from 24.2 pct), Eastern Macedonia-Thrace (23.1 pct from 22.7 pct), Crete (22.5 pct from 26.5 pct), Ionian Islands (21.4 pct from 16.4 pct), Northern Aegean (19.6 pct from 16.6 pct), Peloponese (19 pct from 19.9 pct) and Southern Aegean (17.2 pct from 11.4 pct).

A 12 pct of unemployed people were seeking exclusively full time jobs, while a 82.9 pct could work part time if necessary. The percentage of unemployed people never worked in the past was 20.2 pct, while long-term unemployment (over 12 months) was 71.8 pct.

Employment in the country totaled 3,648,565 in the fourth quarter, down 2.4 pct from the previous quarter, but up 0.1 pct from the fourth quarter of 2015.

The primary sector of the economy recorded an 1.7 pct decline in the number of employed people, in the
secondary sector employment grew 2.4 pct and in the third an increase of 0.1 pct.

The percentage of wage earners in the country was 65.8 pct of total employment, the lowest in the EU (83.9 pct on average, 2015 estimate).