Greek unemployment rate higher than official rate, INE/GSEE report says

The Greek unemployment rate is seven percentage points higher than the official rate, INE/GSEE, the country’s largest trade union’s research institute said in a report released on Thursday.

The report on the Greek economy and employment, said that although the unemployment rate showed a declining trend, according to the latest figures released by Hellenic Statistical Authority, this improvement was not due to the success of adjustment programmes but to the fact that a large part of new job positions were part-time jobs with lower incomes. “It would be a prospect of exiting the crisis if a series of Greek labour market data could turn into more quality and create full-time jobs,” George Argitis, head of INE/GSEE, said presenting the report.

The percentage of employment people in the third quarter of 2017 was 54.6 pct, up compared with the worst periods of the recent past, but significantly lower compared with pre-crisis levels. The report noted that collective labour agreements, on national or local level, remained extremely small, while business labour agreements were the vast majority. It also showed that hirings with flexible labour forms accounted for 21 pct of new hirings in 2009 to jump to 54.9 pct in 2017.

The report also showed that indirect taxes accounted for 56.6 pct of the state’s tax revenue in 2017 from 54 pct in the previous year. Wages in the private sector continued falling, with the percentage of low-earners (with net monthly wages of less than 700 euros) rising to 37.4 pct in 2017 from 13.1 pct in 2009, but fell by around four percentage points for wage earners between 700-899 euros to 23.5 pct in 2017 from 27.3 pct in 2009. The percentage of wage earners with net monthly wages of 900-1,300 euros dropped to 16.8 pct in 2017 from 35.7 pct in 2009. In the wider public sector, the percentage of workers with net monthly wages below 1,000 euros jumped to 29.8 pct in 2017 from 18.9 pct in 2009, it rose in the 1,000-1,100 euros range (16.2 pct in 2017 from 13 pct in 2009) and fell significantly in the 1,100-1,599 wage range (34.3 pct in 2017 from 46.5 pct in 2009), along with the percentage of workers with monthly wages above 1,600 euros (4.7 pct in 2017 from 10.9 pct in 2009).