Greek unemployment climbs to record 12.2 pct

ATHENS - Greece’s unemployment rate rose to a record level in August as austerity policies aimed at slashing the budget deficit led to job cuts, figures from statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 11 Nov 2010, 6:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:24 AM

The unemployment rate jumped to 12.2 percent from 12 percent in July and 9 percent in August 2009. It is the highest reading since Greece started compiling monthly jobless data in 2004. A record 613,108 people were without work, 35 percent more than in August 2009.

Employment is expected to suffer as the Greek economy goes through its deepest recession in almost 40 years, partly due to austerity policies to shore up the country’s finances and avoid a debt default in exchange for a 110 billion euro EU/IMF bailout.

Greece’s jobless rate was the fourth-highest in the 16-member euro zone after Spain, Slovakia and Ireland and 2.2 percentage points above the bloc’s average.

The EU and the IMF expect Greek unemployment to hit 14.5 percent next year, with the economy suffering its third consecutive year of contraction.

Unemployment hit young people hardest, with the jobless rate reaching 30.8 percent in the 15-24 age group and 16.4 percent for those aged 25 to 34. Workers in construction, tourism and retail businesses are particularly affected.

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