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Unemployment in Greece reaches 27.5%; Young people worst affected

On a similar note to James’ post about Greece’s economy, statistics from yesterday show that Greece’s unemployment numbers have risen to 27.5%. Their economy has had one of the worst rebounds since the 2008 financial crisis. Many blame the large amounts of debt/loans that Greece was incurring right before the crisis. Currently, they are reliant on loans from the IMF and other European countries. However, corruption has hindered progress in Greece, leading to such high numbers of unemployment which includes a 57% unemployment rate among individuals aged 15-24. On a more optimistic note, this week Greece’s Energy Ministry launched an international tender for a pipeline project that would transport about 8 billion cubic meters of gas into the European market from offshore fields controlled by Cyprus and Israel. They hope to exploit this energy rush in the Eastern Mediterranean in the future as a producer. But currently are only utilizing it as a transportation hub for Israeli and Cypriot gas reserves. It will be interesting to see Greece’s future in this market. Will they continue to just be a middle-man or enter into the production market themselves?


  1. gjeong gjeong

    Greece needs more help from the outside. That is why I am a bit concerned about the EU’s and IMF’s measures on the crisis. The sanctions led to higher unemployment rate. How will they lower this rate? I do not know. South Korea went through a similar situation during the Asian financial crisis in 1997. What we did was that we corrected any gold from citizens to pay off the debt borrowed from the IMF (yes, everyone participated and was willing to donate all of their jewelries to pay the debt). Greece can take this kind of movements to fight against this crisis. However, will they do it?

  2. savas savas

    This past summer, I visited Spain. When my family and I were touring Madrid, our tour guide talked about the high unemployment rate that Spain is experiencing. I asked our guide if the level of unemployment was overstated due to black market activities and employment that is kept off the books. She responded by saying that it was. Similar to what’s going on in Spain, I wondered if the unemployment levels in Greece is also overstated due to employment that is kept of the books.

  3. peaseley peaseley

    I hope the United States, Germany and the other countries of the world are able to learn from unemployment in the Euro Zone. While some of this unemployment is certainly is due to the recent global recession, a large portion is certainly structural. It seems Greece’s educational system simply is not preparing its students for the modern economy.

  4. christycui christycui

    What interests me in this article is that the unemployment rate of young people is double the size of the overall rate. I doubt that it’s because the education system does not prepare the students for the job market. Because it makes sense for firms to hire experienced workers, and in a troubled economy, that’s why young people don’t get hired.

  5. Two issues. One is that off-the-books labor is not new, so we shouldn’t read a change in reported levels as fiction. In addition, wages are likely as informal as is the work. Better than nothing does not mean good.

    Second, there’s hysteresis, where an upturn in the economy will bypass those long unemployed in favor of new school leavers untainted by years of loss of social skills while working part-time or not at all. There’s already some evidence of this in the US. See good discussions on the FT Alphaville blog and by Paul Krugman on his blog, both stimulated by a paper by Krueger, Cramer and Cho at a Brookings conference last week.

  6. evans evans

    While off-the-books labor is not new, do you not think that it increases in times of economic stagnation? It seems to me, that if there is increased unemployment and one can’t find a job anywhere, that many would likely turn to selling drugs or some other off-the-books employment.

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