Greek April unemployment drops to 17.6%, lowest since June 2011

ATHENS, July 11 (Reuters) - Greece’s jobless rate fell to 17.6% in April from an upwardly revised 18.2% in the previous month, data from the country’s statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday.

The jobless rate in April was the lowest reading since June 2011.

Seasonally adjusted data showed the number of unemployed at 833,858 people, with younger persons aged up to 24 bearing the brunt of being out of work.

Among younger persons aged 15 to 24, the jobless rate fell to 30.4% from 40.3% in the same month in 2018.

Greece’s jobless rate, which hit a record high of 27.8% in September 2013, has been falling since but remains the highest in the euro zone.

The government expects unemployment to decline to 18.2% this year as the economy recovers, based on projections in its 2019 budget.

In its spring forecasts, the EU Commission expects some slowdown in Greece’s labour market recovery due to a recent increase in the statutory minimum wage. It also projects a jobless rate of 18.2% this year.

Greece’s economy expanded in the first quarter, driven by consumer spending and a pick-up in investments, although a slow-down in Europe made falling exports a drag. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Foo Yun Chee)