More bad news for the Greek government’s plan to reduce the jobless rate as the country’s statistical agency ELSTAT said it set yet another record in June, hitting 27.9 percent amid predictions it could eventually top 30 percent.
It’s even worse for those under 25, at some 58.8 percent not counting the young who have fled in a mass exodus to other countries in search of a job and a better life, giving up on their homeland.
ELSTAT reported that the jobless rate had risen from 24.6 percent the previous year. In June 2008 before the global financial crisis bared its teeth and Greece entered recession, the rate stood at 7.3 percent, showing an incrase of 20.6 percent in five years.
The jobless total stood at just over 1.4 million. In addition, around 3.33 million people in Greece are considered inactive, just shy of the 3.63 million in work. Crushing austerity measures imposed by the government on the orders of international lenders have kept Greece in a recession for six years and counting, cut disposable income nearly in half and produced less-than-expected tax revenues.
The government is also planning to fire as many as 40,000 public workers over the next couple of years, adding to the lines at the unemployment office. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said he will have the economy on the road to recovery and a return to international markets next year and has repeatedly said he wants to cut the jobless rate but hasn’t proposed any programs to do so yet.
Europe’s statistics office said the number of unemployed in the Eurozone was down by 15,000 to 19.23 million, marking the second consecutive fall since April 2011. The jobless rate remained at a record of high of 12.1 percent.
EU youth unemployment in July remained high with a total of 5.56 million under 25 registered as unemployed, even though it dipped slightly from 23.5 to 23.4 percent on the month. For the Eurozone, it rose by 0.1 point to 24 percent.