GSEE Survey: Part-time Employment Up, Wages Down

Part-time workers and the hard-core unemployed have almost tripled during Greece’s debt crisis despite a recent drop in the jobless rate, according to the largest labour union GSEE.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs in Greece since it tumbled into crisis in 2010. With one in five now unemployed, others have lost almost a third of their incomes due to austerity measures and labour reforms agreed under three international bailouts.

Unemployment, at 21% in the second quarter, has decreased but it is still the highest in the eurozone. Unregistered work and part-time contract jobs have increased as businesses are desperate to cut costs.

About 267,000 workers are currently part time, compared to 99,000 in 2008; a year before the crisis broke out, the institute said. Apart from long-term unemployed, discouraged job seekers, who have given up on actively seeking work, the numbers have increased to 109,000 from 37,000 over the same period, it added.

More than 645,000 jobs were lost in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and the retail sector during the crisis, it said. A small rise in employment is currently registered in the sectors of energy, tourism and administration.

With an increase in flexible forms of work, about 48% of jobs created in the first seven months of the year were part-time, GSEE said, adding that the average monthly salary of part-time workers is 397 euros.