Unemployment rate in Greece Soars above 25 percent hitting new record

Students chant slogans outside the finance ministry in Athens during a demonstration to protest against austerity measures and Unemployment. (File Photo)

Greece’s statistics service says the number of Greeks without a job hit 25.4 percent in August, a record high in more than three years of relentless unemployment rise. (PressTV)

A new survey conducted by the Greek statistics service ELSTAT released on Thursday says the jobless rate in the country has increased since the last record in July to twice the average unemployment rate of 11.5 percent in other eurozone countries.

The report indicates that Greece has had 39 consecutive months of increasing jobless rates, and that a record number of 1.27 million people were without a job in August.

The jobless rate has more than tripled since the country’s economic crisis began five years ago and now stands at 58 percent for those aged between 15 and 24 years, compared with 20 percent in August 2008.

Earlier in the week, the European Commission (EC) said the Greek labor market would bottom out in 2013, with unemployment slipping to around 22 percent in 2014, the first year of relative recovery for the recession-battered economy.

Spain and Greece hold the top two positions on unemployment in the European Union according to Eurostat, the EC Directorate-General, with 25.5 percent of Spaniards unable to find work.

On Wednesday, the Greek government voted for a new set of austerity measures to settle an agreement for a crucial bailout fund, prompting nationwide protests by Greeks, who have risen in anger against the further spending cuts and tax hikes.

Athens is set to take budget cuts and tax increases worth 9.4 billion euros by 2013 as a pre-condition to receive more funds under its international bailout.

Europe plunged into a financial crisis in 2008, forcing EU governments to adopt tough economic reforms to cap their worsening debt crises.

The cutbacks have ignited social unrest and massive protests across many European countries.

GVN/MRS/HMV

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