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Unemployment in Greece decreased to 18.1% but youth joblessness up to 40.4%

The rate of long-term unemployment in Greece has decreased to 12.5% of the unemployed workforce in the first quarter of 2019, when compared to 13.6.% in 2018 and 15.6% in 2017, the Bank of Greece said in its Monetary Policy Report on Monday.

This development is important because, as the duration of unemployment prolongs, people’s skills are lessened, the possibility of leaving the labor market increases, which, at the same time, increases the risk of social exclusion, poverty and increasing inequalities.

Another important development is that part-time employment declined in the first quarter of 2019 to 9.2% of all employees from 9.6% in the corresponding period of 2018, along with the decline in long-term unemployment.

However, although the long-term unemployment rate is declining, it remains the highest in the European Union, in terms of “absolute unemployment’ and ‘sex.’

This negative performance necessitates the continuation of reforms as the positive growth rate of the economy in 2019 and the improvement in confidence in the prospects of the Greek economy will contribute to rising employment and a further gradual decline in unemployment, the BoG notes and stresses:

• High long-term unemployment, high youth unemployment and low female labor force participation exacerbate inequalities, threaten social cohesion and lead to human capital erosion.

The general unemployment rate eased to 18.1% in March from 18.4% in February, The European Statistics Authority said also on Monday.

The Eurostat said that Greece recorded the biggest reduction of the unemployment rate in the EU, from 20.2% in March 2018 to 18.1% in 2019.

The number of unemployed people in Greece totaled 850,000, with the unemployment rate among men at 14.4% and among women at 22.8%.

The unemployment rate among young people (aged 15-25 years) was 40.4% in March from 39.4% in February and 38.8% a year earlier.

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