Greek unemployment rate falls to 16.9% in July - statistics service

ATHENS, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Greece’s jobless rate fell to 16.9% in July from a revised 17.1% in the previous month, data from the country’s statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday.

Seasonally adjusted data showed the number of unemployed at 797,218 people, with younger persons aged up to 24 being the largest demographic of people out of work.

Among younger persons aged 15 to 24, the jobless rate fell to 32.9% from 37.8% 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.

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 projects a jobless rate of 18.2% this year.

A draft budget unveiled by the Finance Ministry on Oct. 7 projects growth at 2.0% this year, and unemployment at 17.4%. It anticipates output will expand next year by at least 2.8% and the jobless rate to fall to 15.6%. (Reporting by Karolina Tagaris, Lefteris Papadimas)