Labour Research April 2012

European news

Unemployment hike hits Greece

Figures from the Greek statistical service ELSTAT indicate the growing human cost of the financial crisis and austerity in Greece.

More than a fifth (21.0%) of all Greeks are unemployed and, for the first time, among 15- to 24-year-olds more are out of work (51.1%) than working.

The latest figures relate to December 2011 and show that overall unemployment has more than doubled over two years — from 505,000 (10.2%) in December 2009 to 1,034,000 (21.0%) in December 2009.

Many have given up looking for work altogether. Over the same two years the number of economically inactive adults has increased by 101,000.

The financial position of those who lose their jobs has also worsened. In the middle of March, unemployment benefit was cut by 22%, in line with the reduction in the national minimum wage, voted through parliament in February.