Greece’s state-run labor agency OAED has released data for the period 2010-2014 showing a 45% increase in unemployment registrations but 47% fewer recipients of the relevant benefit, which means that despite the dole queue getting 328,208 people longer, somehow 138,824 fewer receive unemployment benefit.
Unemployment is turning into a major social problem as more and more unemployed are left without an income. The Greek government has already decided to proceed with the distribution of a social dividend of 60 million euros to the long-term unemployed in the second half of 2014. Furthermore the government will review the criteria concerning the granting of a long-term unemployment benefit.
Apart from the recession preventing the reintegration of the unemployed into the labor market, the decline in the number of unemployment benefit recipients owes much to the peculiarities of the Greek welfare system.
According to Eurostat, 18.91 million people living within the EU were found to be jobless in March. January figures showed Greece has the highest unemployment rate in Europe, at 26.7%, followed by Spain with 25.3%. Cyprus recorded the biggest increase in unemployment, up to 17.4% from 14.8% last year. The lowest rates were recorded in Austria (4.9%), Germany (5.1%) and Luxembourg (6.1%).