Greek Jobless Rate Hits Record 26%

The lines are getting longer and longer at Greek unemployment offices as the recession rolls on

As Greek Prime Minister was crowing that he is reviving the country’s economy and putting it on the road to recovery, the unemployment rate hit a record 26 percent in September as a sixth year of recession looms.

The Greek Statistical Authority ELSTAT announced that 1.295 million people were recorded as being unemployed in September — pushing up the jobless rate up from 25.3 the previous month and 18.9 percent a year earlier.

The number of people employed stood at 3,695,053 while another 3,373,692 were listed as financially inactive, according to a statement with September data. An estimated 500,000 people aren’t being counted as jobless because their benefits have run out, but they still don’t have jobs, putting the real number of those out of work at close to two million, some analysts have said.

Greek unemployment has surged as a result of harsh austerity measures imposed in return for international rescue loans. The Bank of Greece forecast this week that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would contract by more than 6 percent this year, and by a further 4-4.5 percent next year.

Samaras, whose government is set to impose another $17.45 billion in spending cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions, said that 2013 will be the year when the country starts to turn around.


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