Nearly two-thirds of Greek youths are unemployed

ATHENS Thu May 9, 2013 12:08pm EDT

People wait for their turn to register for unemployment benefits at a local jobs centre in Nicosia April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Andreas Manolis

People wait for their turn to register for unemployment benefits at a local jobs centre in Nicosia April 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andreas Manolis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek youth unemployment shot to a record 64 percent in February, underscoring the dire state of the recession-hit economy despite signs of improving business sentiment.

Repeated doses of austerity under international bailouts have almost tripled Greece's jobless rate since its debt crisis began in 2009, weighing on an economy in its sixth year of recession.

Overall unemployment has risen to an all-time high of 27 percent, data showed on Thursday, while joblessness in the 15-to-24 age group jumped to 64.2 percent in February from 59.3 percent in January.

"I've been looking for a job since 2010 and it has been extremely tough," said Angeliki Zerva, 24, a physiotherapy graduate. "Most employers do the job with interns and don't need to hire anyone."

Greek unemployment is more than twice the average rate in the euro zone, which reached 12.1 percent in March.

Athens has cut the minimum monthly wage for those under 25 years by 32 percent to about 500 euros to boost hiring, but the jobless rate among young people has kept rising, even as some indicators suggest the worst of Athens' debt crisis is over.

The IOBE think-tank's overall economic sentiment gauge hit a 3.5-year high in April, it said on Thursday, the same day that the Athens bourse benchmark index .ATG hit its highest level since August 2011.

The IOBE mood index based on consumer confidence and business outlook gauges covering industry, construction, services and retail trade rose to 89.2 points in April from 88.1 in March.

However, the survey showed consumer pessimism worsened slightly in the face of the economic slump aggravated by tax rises and spending cuts demanded by Greece's international lenders, all of which have an impact on jobs.

"I once dreamt that I could work in my field but after three years of searching, I have very little hope that I will get a job, any job. It looks almost impossible," said 23-year old Evanthia Bouza, who has studied English literature.

The country's economic outlook remains uncertain, despite the progress it has made in recent months to cut its budget deficit and push privatizations, ratings agency Moody's said in a note on Thursday.

"Consumption will continue to decline, led by rising unemployment, wage and pension cuts and weak domestic confidence, resulting in a deferral of spending," said Moody's analyst Alpona Banerji, who expects the economy to contract by 5.3 percent this year.

(Additional reporting by Renee Maltezou and Harry Papachristou; Editing by Deepa Babington and Stephen Nisbet)

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Comments (5)
dareconomics wrote:
Greek unemployment hit 27% across the board with youth unemployment reaching 64.2%. Nearly two-thirds of Greeks under the age of 25 cannot find work. Of course, the Greek finance minister has a job, and he is very busy proclaiming that Greek economic growth will resume in 2014 in interviews on state television.

Three months ago, he promised a recovery beginning at the end of this year in the Bloomberg article linked above, but the march of time has forced him to alter the trajectory of the Greek boom. Growth is always just around the corner in these eurocrisis countries, and I am sure that Greece is slowly morphing into a Mediterranean tiger as we speak.

Perhaps, Greece’s slow-burning civil war will come to end as the economy grows, so the mainstream media has can stop not reporting it.
Full post with charts here:

May 09, 2013 1:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fred5407 wrote:
A pretty good tribute to European Top Down Government Control. Just let the people suffer. We are in control. “Let them eat cake”

May 09, 2013 3:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ShovelyJoe wrote:
Ahh the cost of socialism. Not too many complaints when everyone gets everything for free but when the government runs out of money and the house of cards comes falling down now all the sudden the people are the victims??? I’m not buying it. LOL

May 09, 2013 3:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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