Greek unemployment hits new record in Jan at 21.8 pct

ATHENS, April 12 Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:09am EDT

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ATHENS, April 12 (Reuters) - Greece's jobless rate rose to a fresh record of 21.8 percent in January from a revised 21.2 percent in December, statistics service ELSTAT said on Thursday, as the debt crisis and austerity measures took their toll on the labour market.

Budget cuts imposed by the EU and the IMF as a condition to save the debt-laden country from a chaotic default have caused a wave of corporate closures and bankruptcies.

Starting this month, Greek unemployment figures are adjusted for seasonal factors. The average jobless rate in the 17 countries sharing the euro rose slightly in January to 10.7 percent, from 10.6 percent in December.

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