Greece’s jobless rate rose again in March, reflecting the pain of a crippling recession after years of austerity under the country’s international bailout.
Record joblessness is a major angst for Greece’s coalition government as it scrambles to hit fiscal targets and show there is light at the end of the tunnel after years of unpopular tax rises and cuts to wages and pensions.
Unemployment rose to 26.8 percent from a downwardly revised 26.7 percent reading in February, according to statistics service data released on Thursday, and is more than twice the average rate in the euro zone which hit 12.2 percent in April.
“It’s long-term unemployment that is the most worrisome as the percentage is higher than 60 percent,” said economist Angelos Tsakanikas at think tank IOBE, adding that the proportion of jobless people out of work for more than a year had been around 45 percent in 2008.
Those aged 15 to 24 remain the hardest-hit, even though the jobless rate for that age group eased to 58.3 percent in March from 64.2 percent in February.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor